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Salvation Army gets a Platium coin in the bucket!

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Although the coin — a 2006-W $100 Statue of Liberty — has a face value of $100, Salvation Army spokeswoman Yvonne Warthen said the coin has been appraised, and initial estimates suggest the coin is valued at about $1,300.


"The man who donated the coin tried to put it in the kettle, but it wouldn't fit," she said. "So he just handed it to the bell ringer. It just shows how honest our bell ringers are."



I thought that was a foolish thing for him to do. Generous, yes. Foolish? Yes. The Salvation Army is not in the coin business. Here's what happens if they get a coin: First, the coin has to make it to them. Most kettle operators are honest, I'm sure, but there's always the chance! Then, when the SA recieves the expensive coin, they've got to have it appraised and identified (likely for a fee), then they've got to sell it (again, likely for a fee). This story illustrates the problems with this process, with the SA's initial estimate being $200 less than melt for a slabbed platinum coin!!


The donor would have much better served his cause by simply selling the coin at his cost and donating the cash. Of course, then there wouldn't have been a news story. It was generous, but I don't think this was approached properly.

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Sorry Michael, I am going to have to disagree. One of the things these donations do is bring free publicity to the charity, which is worth as much as the coin. In most cases, by bringing publicity, the Salvation Army can help focus on their goals and let the public know their needs. By this article, I know the Salvation Army in Pensacola is trying to raise $24,500 and is behind in their donations. If I was in Pensacola and looking for a place to donate some money, I could be motivated to donate it with the Salvation Army.


One part of the story that you do not hear is that when the Salvation Army or any other organization receives these types of donations, the main organization has a contact network of dealers who will arrange for its sale. By publicizing this donations, dealers can reach out to specific benefactors to broker sales--usually at or above the coin's worth. The benefactors are then able to take the difference between the cataloged worth (documented by the dealer) and the amount paid to write off on their taxes. Thus, if the coin is worth $1525 and I buy it for $1800 (sorry, I can't afford that right now), I get a $275 legal tax deduction.


And for the dealer... they can take the cost of the commission they would earn and call it a donated service to the charity. If a dealer charges 10-percent on the broker fees of an $1800 sale, that is $180 value in donated services. That is becomes a legal tax deduction.


More times than not, this works out very well for the charity involved and nobody complains!


Happy Holidays!


Scott :hi:

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You beat me to it, Scott! To think of it another way, you have a charity group who gets an expensive coin. You have a dealer who want's publicity. The two meet, the dealer appraises it and agrees to sell it to someone. Make a press release, and it talks all about this wonderful donation to the charity and this reputable coin dealer has certified its authenticity and is going to sell it for the charity.


Now for me, that PR wouldn't make me want to donate to the charity any more than I would've before, but I would at least want to visit the coin dealer's shop to see what it was like because if (s)he's willing to do that for a charity, then they MUST be worth checking out.


Again, it boils down to what Scott said: The publicity is worth much more than any fees/time required to liquidate the coin. Plus it gives the initial donator a sense of pride when they see all this press surrounding their donation.

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