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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Krugerrands dropped in Salvation Army kettles



A woman dropping money into a Boston-area kettle earlier this month
(Globe Staff Photo by Tom Herde)

Salvation Army bell-ringers in the area are collecting quarters, dimes, and nickels this holiday season – oh, yeah, and any highly valuable South African gold coins you happen to own are welcome, too.

Two Krugerrands – gold South African coins – were dropped into Salvation Army kettles last week. Ruth Blais, an official at the Attleboro branch of the Salvation Army, said she thought someone may have dropped the first gold coin in by mistake. That was until volunteers found a second one.

One coin was dropped into a kettle outside Stop and Shop in Plainville, and another was found in a kettle outside Wal-Mart in North Attleboro.

Blais said the coins are worth more than $600 each.

"They’re gorgeous," Blais said. "They’re beautiful coins."

Earlier this month, the Salvation Army in Topeka, Kan. found a valuable gold American coin in a kettle.

The Salvation Army will sell the coins and use the money to fund Attleboro-area programs, Blais said.

Blais has a message for the anonymous donor: "Thank you, thank you, thank you, and every penny will go toward helping people in this area."

"He’s going to help keep somebody warm this winter," Blais said of the mysterious stranger. "He’s going to help somebody have electric lights."

-- Calvin Hennick

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