RENO — The Salvation Army confirmed that a 1979 Krugerrand gold coin was dropped in a kettle at a Walmart in Reno this week.
The one-ounce gold coin is worth $1,255, said Allen Rowe, president of Northern Nevada Coin. The coin is not particularly rare but it is literally worth its weight in gold. The Krugerrand is gold bullion. In the 1970s, mints produced millions of them, he said.
Last Christmas season, another gold 1979 Krugerrand coin was put into the kettle. And in 2015, two rare coins were each wrapped in $100 bills, each valued at about $550.
“I’m shocked and pleased to have this blessing in our red kettle.” Major Charles Fowler, Washoe County Salvation Army Reno corps coordinator, said in a news release. “We find unusual items in our kettles from time to time. Most have no value.”
Some of those things are pocket lint, screws, washers, game tokens, foreign coins, Alcoholics Anonymous chips, batteries, angels, pills, gum wrappers, staples, earrings, women’s rings, bracelets, a Navy souvenir coin and keys.
“This one, however, is a tremendous boost to the bell ringing campaign,” according to Fowler. “Whoever this donor is, I just want to say thanks for the helping us and this community.”
The Red Kettle campaign is currently down 13% compared with the income raised last Christmas season, according to the Salvation Army. The Reno Corps set a $285,000 goal for this year.
Donations collected in the Salvation Army kettles help support local programs like the Christmas assistance program, year-round food assistance and other social services and youth programs.