State auctions off forgotten bank deposit boxes

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) — Nearly one thousand forgotten bank deposit boxes, many full of valuables and family keepsakes are up for bid Thursday and Friday.

You might be surprised by what those boxes contained – thousands of rare coins, a large number of pockets watches in one and another had dozens of silver bars weighing over six-pounds apiece.

Two items drew the most interest and bidding are the 32, 100 oz. silver bars left unclaimed in one deposit box and dozens of South African gold Krugerrands in other boxes.

Bidding took off every time one of the silver bars came on the auction.

Sam Schnaidt, Co-owner of Apple Tree Auction Center in Newark and his Co-owner Debbie Allen, took turns doing the auctioneering as bids came in from the public seated in the center, along with those on the internet and by phone.

“We see one of these silver bars every couple of years, but this time there are 30 some found in one person’s box,” Allen said.

Rare coin sales took up most of the first day, but whenever a silver bar or Krugerrand came up for bid, the prices sky-rocked.

“17, 18 and $1,900,” Schnaidt said while keeping the pace moving.

“You can get caught up in it and they move so fast and you stick the paddle up and you are way over what you actually meant to bid very quickly,” said Al Moore of Reynoldsburg. Moore bid on both the silver bars and Krugerrands. But said he refused to buy at the price both sold for.

Yaw Obeng, Superintendent of the Division of Unclaimed funds for Ohio said, some of the deposit boxes dated back to 1968. The state of Ohio was unable to match those boxes with an owner or relative and the valuables were taking up a lot of space. He said the last unclaimed deposit box auction like this was held in 1998.

Obeng said do not worry if your relatives left any of these valuables in an unclaimed deposit box because the state will hold onto the money made at the auction indefinitely and with proof, you can claim that. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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