HARRISBURG, Pa. — Peter and Janise Damien didn't exactly think they would be sitting in the Pennsylvania treasury department, going through old jewelry, just days before their daughter's wedding.
"My daughter is getting married, I need this jewelry, especially this particular jewelry, I need to give it to her," said Janise Damien.
These pieces are more than just gold. They are memories. There was one piece Janise really wanted her daughter to have: a necklace given to Janise by her late father.
She said, "My dad gave it to me as a new beginning for us when we started out life here, so it will be a gift for her, for her to take along with her, along with this ring of my grandmother's, for new beginnings for her."
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Finally touching this gold is something the Damiens didn't think would happen.
They thought it was in a safe deposit box at the bank, but when they closed that bank account years ago they forgot about the box. By the time they called the bank, the jewelry was gone.
"That is why I was very emotional when my husband said we can't find the jewelry. I was like what are you talking about? It's in the bags. So I was very upset and mad at him," Janise said.
"Story of my life," Peter joked.
Their gold jewelry ended up in Pennsylvania Treasury's Vault. It became unclaimed property, like so many other pieces of jewelry that were left at banks and possibly forgotten.
Their new son-in-law was the one who told them it likely ended up at the treasury.
Janise said, "So I'm thinking, it's going to the state treasury, nobody's claiming it, it's been so many years, chances are it's at the auction. My head is like reeling you know. It was probably in a state auction you know, it's gone. I said to my husband, it's gone, we're never getting it back."
But the Damiens got in touch with treasury staff, and that started the chain reaction rush to get the family their jewelry.
Something that can take weeks happened in a matter of hours.
"We were just so thrilled to make her day all that more special," said Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity.
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That could be a piece of jewelry like the Damiens, money from an uncashed check, or even a military medal. For physical property like jewelry, the treasury department will try for at least three years to track down the owner. Luckily for the Damiens, their heirlooms had just arrived at the vault.
"I'm just amazed that I have them because you don't understand, I thought I lost all of them," said Janise.
You can tell by the bride's smile that jewelry on her wedding day was the special touch that was missing.
Jenova Pryor, the bride, said: "As she was putting it on me it was definitely an emotional moment. I felt like my grandfather was there because I had it on."
The groom, Denzel Pryor, thought it looked great too, "That's divine intervention, there's nothing else we couldn't have written that any better ourselves."
Now that the wedding is over, the jewelry will be kept in a new home - a safe - with the newlyweds.
Pryor said, "I think everyone was like we're just going to get a safe, we're all going to get safes and we're just going to keep it like that."
How to check if you have unclaimed property:
It's simple! Just click here and search for your name.
If you do find a claim, hit "add" and select your relationship to the person's name.
Then just enter your updated information and create a claim.