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Rare Michael Jordan rookie card nets $5400 for Great Iowa Treasure Hunt

News, Sports

September 20th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – State Treasurer Roby (ROB-ee, like “Robbie“) Smith says a rare trading card from a pro basketball star’s rookie season has sold for 54-hundred dollars. The 1986 Michael Jordan card was in a batch of unclaimed property Smith’s office put up for auction online this spring. When Smith was made aware of the card’s potential value, though, he ordered an appraisal — which found the card was authentic, in near mint condition and worth at least four-thousand dollars.

Smith has seen photos of the card, which was in an unclaimed lock box turned over to the state years ago. A very limited number of people have handled the card.

Banks turn unclaimed lock boxes over to the State Treasurer’s Office if the owner can’t be tracked down. The 54-hundred dollars made from the sale of this Michael Jordan card will go into an special state-managed account, just in case the owner or an heir steps forward in the future to claim the money. The state maintains the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt website where people can search for any unclaimed property.

Each year, the State Treasurer’s office receives up to 300 hundred safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned and is running out of space, so some of the boxes that have been in the state’s possession for several years are selected for auction. The state still has about three-thousand unclaimed safety deposit boxes in storage.