DES MOINES, Iowa — A rare card from a professional basketball star’s rookie season has sold for $5,400, state Treasurer Roby Smith said.
This spring, a collection of unclaimed property from Smith’s office was put up for auction online, including a 1986 Michael Jordan card. However, when Smith realized the card’s potential value, he ordered an appraisal, which revealed that the card was authentic, nearly new, and worth at least four thousand dollars.
Smith had seen a photo of the card, which had been left in an unclaimed lock box and turned over to the state several years ago. The number of people who can apply for this card is very limited.
If the owner cannot be found, the bank will turn over the unclaimed lock box to the state Treasury Department. The $5,400 proceeds from the sale of the Michael Jordan card will be deposited into a special state-managed account in case the owner or heirs seek the money in the future. The state maintains the Greater Iowa Treasure Hunt website, where people can search for any unclaimed property.
Each year, the state treasurer’s office receives as many as 30,000 safes that are abandoned and out of space, so some that have been owned by the state for many years are selected for auction. There are still about three thousand unclaimed safe deposit boxes in the state.