Kruger­rands for US char­ity’s Christ­mas

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETERS

GEN­ER­OUS donors of­ten turn Sal­va­tion Army ket­tles into “pots of gold” as Kruger­rands reg­u­larly land up in var­i­ous col­lec­tion pots across the US dur­ing Christ­mas.

The South African Gold Coin Ex­change’s at­ten­tion was first drawn to do­na­tions when they found out that Sal­va­tion Army staffers in the Amer­i­can state of Louisiana had dis­cov­ered the 1983 coin when they were tal­ly­ing col­lec­tions at the end of the day and no­ti­fied Ma­jor Mark Smith, head of the lo­cal Sal­va­tion Army.

“I was de­lighted,” Smith told the ex­change. “It went a long way to help­ing us in our Christ­mas ef­fort.”

Alan Demby, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of the South African Gold Coin Ex­change, said ac­cord­ing to an Amer­i­can news­pa­per re­port, anony­mous Kruger­rand drops in ket­tles oc­cur through­out the coun­try at Christ­mas, with the first gold coin hav­ing been given in 1982 in a Chicago sub­urb. About 300 gold coins have since been do­nated and found among quar­ters and dimes that jam coin coun­ters.

Louisiana Coin Ex­change in Shreve­port had ap­praised the lo­cally do­nated coin at about $1 100 (R8 000), but the Sal­va­tion Army would prob­a­bly sell it to get more than the ap­praised value, as gold prices had been set­ting records in re­cent weeks, Smith said.

Demby lauded the spirit shown by Amer­i­can Kruger­rand donors.

“A height­ened ben­e­fit to the re­cip­i­ent of the do­na­tion is the Kruger­rand’s abil­ity to keep on giv­ing. As the gold price ap­pre­ci­ates, as it has been so con­vinc­ingly do­ing in the past cou­ple of years, so the value of the gift grows.”

He urged South Africans to take a leaf out of the book of their US coun­ter­parts.

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