Salvation Army Red Kettle volunteers received quite a surprise during the first day of collections this week, in the form of a gold bullion coin worth almost $200. At some point during the day Monday, an anonymous donor dropped the shiny gold coin — roughly the size of a dime — into a red kettle outside the Coralville Walmart. The donation continues a trend that has developed in Johnson County over the past four years where an anonymous individual or individuals have donated a coin of similar value in various locations annually.
Lia Pontarelli, Johnson County Salvation Army director of development and communications, said Friday the coin was the perfect start to a season of collections that will run until Dec. 24. “With it being on the very first day, it definitely gets us started on a really high note, looking forward to the rest of the season,” Pontarelli said. “It gets all of us excited.” The coin wasn’t discovered until Tuesday while volunteers from Hills Bank counted the donations and noticed the 2011 U.S. mint 1/10-ounce gold American Eagle coin among the change and dollar bills. The five-dollar denomination coin, which contains about $172 worth of gold, will be sold to the Dean Oakes Coin & Currency shop in Sycamore Mall for $210, said officials with the coin shop.
The market value of gold as of Friday evening was about $1,720 an ounce, according to Kitco Metals Inc., a worldwide retailer of precious metals. Michael White, United States Mint spokesman, said the coin is not rare and has been minted since 1986. He said it is not a circulation coin, but rather typically purchased and sold as an investment coin based directly on the market value of gold.Read More.