Filed under: Charity
So what's the deal with all the rare coins? I asked Donn Pearlman, a spokesman for the Professional Numismatists Guild and a former Chicago journalist and broadcaster who reported over the years on many of the early gold coin donations to the Salvation Army about the annual appearance of gold coins in the collection kettles. He says that the tradition of people generously and anonymously putting gold coins into Salvation Army kettles began in December 1982 when someone placed five, one-ounce South African Krugerrands into a kettle at a shopping mall in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Krugerrands or Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins subsequently were dropped into a kettle at that same location every December for the next five years, spurring stories about the phantom philanthropist and the Salvation Army's Christmas-time fund-raising efforts.