Danville Salvation Army officials were rejoicing about their good fortune Tuesday after finding a Krugerrand coin the night before in one of their red kettles.
An anonymous donor carefully wrapped the rare South African gold coin in a taped-up $10 bill and then dropped it in the kettle at the Village Mall County Market sometime on Monday.
“We had just brought in the kettles and started counting the money when we found it,” Captain Judy Lowder said.
The coin is worth about $1,300, which is down compared with last year’s value according to the current gold market.
Krugerrands, which can no longer be obtained in the U.S., are extremely valuable because of the purity of the gold in the coin and their rarity.
The local Salvation Army, 855 E. Fairchild St., a United Way of Danville Area agency, has been fortunate to receive a Krugerrand every year during the last several years, but still the gift is something the corps doesn’t take for granted.
During the years, corps members have speculated the same person — who is possibly local — makes the mystery donation because the coin is always wrapped in a $10 bill, although the kettle locations have varied at times.
“I’m glad that they wrap it in a $10 bill so we don’t lose it or overlook it,” said Sharon Sawka, director of social services.
In 2005 and 2006 as well as 2011 and last year, the Krugerrand turned up in the kettle at the Village Mall County Market.
In addition to the Krugerrand, some other unusual currency has been dropped into the local kettles.
“This is the third unique coin we’ve gotten so far this year,” Lowder said. “We’ve received a very old penny, an old dime from 1911 and two silver certificate dollar bills.”
The currency will be appraised by coin collectors to determine its value, she said.