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Dropped in the Red Kettle; Then What?
January 10, 2011

If you ever wonder what happens to the Krugerrands and other gold coins that get thrown into the Salvation Army’s red kettles during the holidays, the Fort Myers, Fla., Coin Club is providing one answer.

Club President Gary Lewis says six Krugerrands, one Saint-Gaudens $20 and a 10-ounce silver bar that turned up in the Fort Myers red kettles will be displayed at the club’s Jan. 22 show at the Elks Lodge at 1900 Park Meadows Drive. Sealed bids will be accepted for the material during the event.

On Jan. 26, personnel at the Salvation Army’s administrative offices at 10291 McGregor Blvd., will open the bids and presumably sell the coins and bar to the highest bidders.

At current bullion prices, the total value of the coins and the bar is a remarkably round number of $10,000.

Lewis says that not only is the club helping the Salvation Army to realize the maximum value for the coins and bar, but the profit from the coin show raffle will also be donated to the Salvation Army to help top up its annual fund-raising effort.

Headline generating gold coin donations have been occurring around the country after it became legal to own gold bullion coins again at the end of 1974. I don’t remember the first one that I ever heard of, but I have reported on many of them for three decades.

Thanks to Gary Lewis, we find out what happens when the headlines have faded.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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