Salvation Army Kettle Coin Mystery

Friday, December 8th 2006, 10:44 am
By: News On 6

He, or she has done it again! For the fourth time in the past eight years, someone has put a gold Krugerrand in a Salvation Army kettle. The 22-karat coins are worth hundreds of dollars, and come in especially handy this year.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg has more on the Kettle Krugerrand mystery.

Is it him? Or is it her? Or maybe it's this little guy. Nobody knows who quietly dropped a Kruggerand in a kettle at the new Wal-Mart at 68th and Memorial this week, not even the bell ringer.

"As a matter of fact when he found out yesterday morning, he was very surprised about it," said Capt. John Robbins with the Salvation Army. "Sometimes the people like to conceal what they're dropping so he said had no knowledge of it even being dropped in there."

And it's not the first time this has happened. In 1999 somebody slipped one into a kettle in north Tulsa, in 2003 it happened in Sand Springs, 2005 in Sapulpa, now this year in South Tulsa.

"It's never happened to the same area," Robbins said.

The Krugerrand has one-ounce of pure gold and is probably the easiest way to carry around gold bullion in your pocket, and thus an easy way to make a large, anonymous donation quickly. The Krugerrand has no face value, and typically sells for a little more than the current market price of gold.

"What we're seeing is that it's worth roughly between $600 and $700," Robbins said.

It would take as much as a week for a single bell ringer to raise that much. And it's a big help this week after the snow.

"Because of the storm last week, our kettle drive is down about $40,000," said Robbins.

They'd like to thank the donor personally, but if they're out there listening, they say thanks.

The Krugerrand is a South African coin that was first minted back in 1967. The Salvation Army says they've gotten secret Krugerrand donations "off and on" in Tulsa since the early 1970's. This might be the first time it's happened two years in a row though.