An antique five dollar bill sold as part of State Treasurer John Perdue’s online auctions drew attention from a large auctioneer, as the Treasurer urged more West Virginians to log onto the site.
Lone Star Auctioneers mentioned in a recent newsletter the winning bid of $925, 16 total bids and 721 views for a 1902 blue series five dollar bill abandoned from a West Virginia safe deposit box. Lone Star administers the auctions for the Treasurer’s Office and dozens of other state treasuries and entities.
The direct web site address is www.WestVirginiaUnclaimedProperty.org. Creation of an account is all that is necessary to bid.
Treasurer’s Office officials estimate the $925 is the most a single piece of paper currency has fetched from the auctions, which are open to anyone willing to register.
“I understand that the bill we had was in very good condition,” Perdue said. “While that is wonderful and the bid it attracted is fantastic for the bill owner, we would love to see more West Virginians take advantage of the site. After all, everything available originated from safe deposit boxes here. Please log onto the web site and look around.”
The bill was issued by the First National Bank of South Charleston. At the time, designated national banks had the latitude to issue usable currency and five dollar bills from 1861 to 1928 are considered especially collectable. Blue seals are fairly rare, particularly one in nearly mint condition, as was the South Charleston note.
All items on the West Virginia site are items left behind from safe deposit boxes and designated unclaimed. Any proceeds from auction sales remain in the account owner’s name as more attempts are made to find him or her. Items are sold when space no longer permits storage.