Four gold coins valued at $1,300 each were dropped into a Salvation Army kettle in Lake Zurich on Wednesday.
"We don't have any idea who made the donation," Salvation Army spokesman Alyse Chadwick Chung told the Daily Herald. "(It was) totally anonymous."
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The coins were $50 U.S. pieces. They're worth more than face value because of the high price of gold.
The fronts of all four coins were painted green, making the markings unreadable, Chung said. The backs of the coins were left relatively clean.
They were dropped into a kettle at the Walmart store at 820 S. Rand Road and discovered Wednesday night. They are the first to be donated in a Chicago-area kettle this season.
"Gold coins are important, not only because of the direct benefit that the additional funds provide to the people that we serve, but also because it provides both our bell ringers and our community with more optimism for the year to come," David Martinez of the Salvation Army Des Plaines Corps said in a news release.
The Salvation Army's gold-coin tradition began in the Chicago suburbs. The first gold coin appeared more than 25 years ago in McHenry County.
Since then, the Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins from anonymous donors.