Dec 10, 2021

(Photo credit: Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News Tribune)

You never know what you’re going to find in a Salvation Army red kettle around Christmas, as a variety of valuable and unusual objects have been found over the years.

A gold coin with an approximated $300-$500 value was dropped in a Jefferson City red kettle, leaving officers excited and grateful. The coin will be sold to a private buyer.

“We initially weren’t sure what it was because you get a lot of strange stuff in buckets,” Jefferson City corps Captain Justin Windell said. “I’ve even had a gold tooth in a bucket before, which by the way you can’t move. No one wants to buy a gold tooth.”

The gold coin’s value was taken to the Internet for appraisal, then to a local board member who collected coins and, finally, to working the phones.

“Then the funds will go into our kettle campaign,” Captain Justin said.

The gold coin is a 1926 Eagle.

This year’s gold coin drop was not the first at a Jefferson City red kettle. In 2018, someone dropped an Eagle one-ounce coin, which was valued then at $1,300, at a kettle outside Sam’s Club.

Other pieces of gold have popped up in red kettles over the years, Capt. Justin said, and even a diamond wedding ring.

“When we were on our Christmas internship at the seminary, that Salvation Army got a gold bar,” Capt. Justin said. “Actually, they auctioned it off at that location. It was a good size. I think it was a couple ounces of gold.”

Capt. Justin added, “One location we were at, we received a couple wedding bands. Not only was it interesting because it was a wedding ring with a diamond and everything, but there was a note accompanying it, saying, ‘I hope this brings somebody else better luck than it did me.’ When you get a message like that, it makes it a lot bigger.”

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