Some news reports last week heralded some rare and valuable coins found in a Salvation Army holiday donation kettle. But they look to me like Chinese counterfeits. One dealer burst the charity's bubble.
Bell ringers recently discovered two potentially rare coins -- a 1799 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Dollar and a 1878 Morgan Dollar -- in a Salvation Army red kettle near Berlin.
Capt. Cameron Henderson, the Salisbury Salvation Army branch commander, is hopeful that at least one of the coins will prove to be a hefty donation in this year's annual kettle campaign.
The "generous" donor of either coin is unknown, said Henderson, who has not yet determined the authenticity and value of the silver dollars. So far, he has contacted a couple out-of-state coin collectors by phone to find out more information about them.
"We're very excited," Henderson said.
However, coin dealer Gus Tiso, who analyzed a photo of the coins that appeared in Tuesday's The Daily Times, remains skeptical of the mystery donation. He says identifying authentic coins is extremely difficult for nonexperts.
"If the coins are copies, they're not worth anything," Tiso said. "They're nice to look at, but that's about it."
To read the complete article, see:
Red Kettle rare coins are suspect
Wayne Homren, Editor
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