Someone dropped a valuable coin in a Salvation Army kettle in central Iowa this week. Arvid Huisman, spokesman for the Salvation Army in Des Moines, says a U.S. Liberty $20 gold piece was found in a kettle Monday at a K-Mart Store in Urbandale. The coin was minted in 1902.
“It is estimated to be worth $1,400,” Huisman said. Donations of gold pieces have become a Red Kettle Campaign tradition across the state. Last year, someone even dropped gold dental crown in a kettle.
“That’s fine,” Huisman said. “We cashed it in for $46. So, if somebody has some incidental gold lying around the house, we’ll take it and it’ll be put to good use.” Around half of the Des Moines Salvation Army’s annual operating budget is funded by the annual Red Kettle Campaign.
This year, the organization has set a campaign goal of raising $900,000. Huisman says two South African gold Krugerrands, with a combined value of over $2,200 were found in Des Moines kettle last year. The people behind the gold coin donations have remained a mystery.
“We have absolutely no idea who they are,” Huisman said. “There has been speculation that perhaps it’s the same individual. But, we have no idea who’s doing it or if it might be the same person.” The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign ends on Christmas Eve.