TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A lot of Floridians are going to get some real bargains this weekend.
More than 80,000 items go on the auction block Saturday at the Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton as part of the Unclaimed Property Auction hosted by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
Many of the items were locked up in a top-secret vault in Tallahassee leading up to the auction. It includes valuable jewelry, an 8.6 karat diamond and gold watch, rare coins, a $7 Continental currency note from 1776 - even a baseball signed by Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente.
Most of the items come from abandoned safe deposit boxes, but the treasures also include unclaimed wages, bank accounts, stocks and bonds.
The state of Florida returned more than $200 million in unclaimed cash and property to Floridians last year. But at the same time, more than $400 million of items entered the vault for the first time.
"So will be trying every day that we're in business here to return the funds or these items to the owners or their heirs," said Bureau of Unclaimed Property Chief Walter Graham.
Banks and the state try to contact the owners of unclaimed property for five years before it's auctioned.
"When that fails... we have to put these items up for auction because we're limited in space and we just can't hold the items indefinitely," said Graham.
Florida currently holds $1 billion in unclaimed cash and valuables.
You're encouraged to check out FLTreasureHunt.org to see if you have unclaimed property in the vault.