It seems gold coins are not just for collecting. They are also for donating to charity as well. All over the country anonymous donor or donors are dropping gold coins like confetti into the traditional Salvation Army Red Kettles.
Each year, over the past 12 years, a gold coin has been anonymously dropped into a Salvation Army Kettle during the holidays in the Paris community.
This year, according to Ken Hamilton, chairman of the kettle campaign, the coin mysteriously appeared in the red kettle which was set-up at Wal-Mart on Dec. the 1st.
And now another gold coin has turned up in a Nebraska red kettle collection. Salvation Army officials found the gold Friday while counting the day's cash haul in Grand Island. Captain Debbie Richardson says the coin is dated 1880 and bears a portrait of Lady Liberty and has the words United States of America stamped on it.
It's about the size of a nickel and was dropped in the kettle by an anonymous donor. A local coin dealer says it is worth around $200.
The Omaha Salvation Army has also found two gold South African Krugerrands in its red kettles so far this holiday season.
And an anonymous donor has made Christmas a whole lot merrier in northern Franklin County by dropping a gold coin into Salvation Army red kettles not once but twice.
The first, a 1910 $10 Indian head sealed in a plastic protective case, turned up at K-mart on Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving and the kickoff of the annual Red Kettle campaign.
"And we got a second one Saturday at Price Chopper," said Candace Breen, treasurer for the Malone Salvation Army unit.
This one, also preserved in a protective case, is an 1899 Liberty gold coin that she believes was also a $10 piece.
Each is worth between $900 and $1,000. "It's just fantastic," Breen stated.
She sent the coins off to the Salvation Army headquarters in Syracuse "because I really didn't know anyone around here" from whom to obtain an appraisal and determine a fair value. Once their worth is established, 90 percent of the money will be returned to the Malone unit for use on local Salvation Army needs, Breen said.
Just who is behind the gold coin donations remains a mystery but the Salvos are certainly not unhappy about it.