Rare, unclaimed items to be auctioned

Morphy Auctions is a family business nestled in the heart of the auction capital of the world: Lancaster County.

“It's fun for me because I get to see all these wonderful collections and meet some very fascinating people,” appraiser Dr. John Morphy said. “We sold a beer can for $36,000. I mean a beer can, come on!”

But something more classy and shiny will be auctioned off this week.

“This goes all the way back to the 1800's,” Morphy said as he held an Edwardian era brooch. “It's very well made with about three carats of diamonds.”

Many of the pieces are truly unique. A diamonds and rubies bracelet with nine and a half carats is expected to bring in between $15,000 to $20,000 at auction, and a 4.25 carat diamond ring set in platinum is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000.

“I mean, what woman wouldn't be excited to get this heart for Valentine's Day?” Morphy said as he held a heart-shaped pin made of seven carats-worth of diamonds. It was appraised at $7,000 to $10,000.

There is also a large selection of watches and other items, like a 100 ounce bar of silver.

“There's a lot of early coins,” said Morphy. “There's some late 1700 coins from the state that should do quite well.”

In all, there are about 300 items, starting at around $300. It is all unclaimed property from the state Treasury, which tried to find the rightful owners but could not. Now, the pieces will have new owners.

“We have about 3,000 bids already through the Internet and through absentee bids, so I think it's going to be a very successful auction,” Morphy said.

The items are already up for bid online at www.morphyauctions.com.

The live auction begins Saturday, February 9 at 10:00 a.m. Most of the proceeds will go back to the state Treasury.

The Treasury auction is a small part of a larger auction which begins Friday, February 8 at 10 a.m.

Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 N. Reading Road in Denver.

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