An unidentified person tossed a rare 1881 “half eagle” coin into a Salvation Army holiday donation kettle the day after Thanksgiving in Torrington, Conn. This type of coin, which has a face value of $5, was our nation’s first-ever gold coin. It remained in circulation from 1795 to 1929. The coin could be worth $250 to $400 today.
The exact location where the coin was donated is unclear. A change machine counting donated money didn’t recognize the coin and separated it.