- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 23, 2020

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Salvation Army officials in Las Vegas said Wednesday they were surprised to find a valuable gold coin among the dollar bills, nickels, dimes and quarters in one of the organization’s iconic red charity fundraising kettles.

Capt. Anthony Barnes, Salvation Army of Southern Nevada coordinator, said the solid gold Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin found Tuesday wasn’t immediately appraised, but officials believe it could be worth up to $2,000.

Barnes called it an incredible anonymous donation.

“We’ve witnessed extraordinary acts of kindness and giving during this challenging year,” he said in a statement. “We wish to thank this generous donor from the bottom of our hearts.”

The coin is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint at a face value of $50 Canadian, or about $39 U.S. The market value of 1 ounce (28.35 gram) of gold is far greater, and varies day-to-day.

The Salvation Army is a Christian organization founded in 1865 in London. Today, it is active in more than 100 countries around the world. It is best known for its charity shops, homeless shelters and disaster relief.

Organization spokeswoman Jill Shapiro said the organization helps about 75,000 people a year in the Las Vegas area.

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