Anonymous donor gives Soviet rubles to Salvation Army

Coins valued at $1,000 found in Red Kettle

Published On: Dec 30 2011 06:18:03 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 30 2011 06:45:31 PM EST
Soviet Rubles
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -

Workers at a Macomb County Salvation Army found rare coins placed in a Red Kettle.

An anonymous donor placed two Soviet Union gold rubles in a Salvation Army Red Kettle.

"I actually thought they were just medallions -- medals," said Katrina Gazowsky, who was working the Red Kettle that the coins were placed in.

After years of working with the Salvation Army's Red Kettle donation campaign, Gazowsky said she has seen some strange things placed in the kettles, such as notes, lottery tickets and even a gold fish. Still, she has never received anything like the coins.

"I didn't know they were real gold," she said.

The coins are valued together at $1,000.

"We did research, found out that they are not just silver tokens. They are not just pure silver. These are plated," said a Salvation Army spokesman.

The coins arrived at the Macomb County Salvation Army at a perfect time. Workers there are $25,000 short of their yearly goal.

"The need is growing," said Gazowsky. "It's heartbreaking when someone calls and they need help and we are out of money."

The mystery donor helped out in a big way.

"A huge thank you," said Gazowsky. "They knew what they were doing. Whether they knew that it had any worth to it at all, the fact they made the effort to donate to the Salvation Army, anonymously, says a lot about their character."

Birmingham Estate and Jewelry Buyers plans to put the coins up for auction in February.