MUKWONAGO -- A solid gold South African Krugerrand coin was deposited into a Mukwonago Salvation Army red kettle Saturday, December 3rd by a generous anonymous donor, according to Salvation Army officials.
Salvation Army officials said in a statement Thursday, December 8th the valuable coin was minted in the collector item's first year—1978, making it of particular value to coin enthusiasts and collectors.
"We don't know who it was, and we may never know," said Major Nelson De La Vergne, Corps Officer of the Waukesha Salvation Army. "But that person, or that family needs to hear our sincere and deeply heartfelt thanks for the sacrifice they have made to help others."
The unique coin could be worth $1,200 or more.
It was discovered late Saturday when donations in the red kettle located at Mukwonago’s Walmart at 250 East Wolf Run were being counted for the organization's daily deposit.
"It’s very exciting when something as special and valuable as a Krugerrand is discovered,” De La Vergne explained. “It shines just as brightly as you’d expect a solid gold coin to, and it practically jumps out of the kettle at the counting team. We’re considering conducting an auction for it. This has been done by other Salvation Army corps that are lucky enough to have such a generous donor in their midst, and the excitement of an auction can attract people and businesses interested in helping make a truly significant gift to the Waukesha Salvation Army."
There are 50 red kettle locations across Waukesha County.
Gifts may be made with cash, a check, or something special like valuable coins, diamond rings, jewels and other special items of value. They must be small enough to fit through the locked red kettle lid’s top opening.
“Generous, caring people enjoy having fun by giving us surprises,” said De La Vergne. “We’ll discover crisp new $100 bills in the kettles. We’ll discover a $50 bill hidden in a wad of $1 bills. We’ll sometimes find a check wrapped-up in a $5 bill to make us work for it. But for a counter to discover a gleaming solid gold Krugerrand in the bucket is a remarkable thing— and for most, a once-in-a-lifetime thing— that always produces cheers and applause.”