Antique Safes/key


Both of my parents have now past.  My sisters and I took what we wanted from there belongs. amongst the these things i took a key must have been hidden because i found it after moving the items.  My mom wrote on a tag on the key "Safety deposit"  I called two banks which i knew my parents dealt with in past but they said they didnt have a safety deposit box with them.  It is a large thick key with the name engraved "Sargent & Greenleaf inc. My parents didnt have a safe. Could it belong to a deposit box at a bank?  the key has a engraved ID number. This key is a mystery. I have to solve it! Can you help me?


While I can possibly ID the key as belonging to a safe deposit box "lock", there are no records available anywhere, which would indicated where THAT particualar lock is located.    Manufacturers NEVER kept this type of information for obvious security and liability reasons.

You may want to check with other banks in the area as well.   Generally you will need a letter from the executor of the estate, or many banks may not even discuss the matter with you, as they have no idea who you are.

If you have the letter and the key they should be willing to help.

As far as the number on the key, if it is a 6 or 7 digit number, it is simply the serial number of the key, not the box number.   If it is a 2 or 3 digit number, then it may be a box number.

This is one of the reasons that it is so important to talk to your parents as they get older, to get their affairs in order, and to identify all assests, etc. prior to their death so that you don't lose it.

If it has been over 6 months since they past away, their box may have been opened by the bank.   The contents are usually transfered to a state depository of some type and held until claimed.   You might want to check with the bank to find out where unclaimed safe deposit box contents are sent, and then check there also.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Antique Safes

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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