An anonymous donor who taped a diamond engagement ring to a crisp dollar bill and deposited it into a Red Kettle is making the season much brighter for The Salvation Army of Jacksonville and the people it serves.
The Salvation Army’s bell ringing season starts each November and runs through Christmas Eve. While the bulk of donations come in the form of coins and paper money, the most newsworthy ones always contain a bit of bling.
The yellow gold ring, which features a 1.75-carat round solitaire diamond, is valued between $8,000 and $9,000, according to a local jeweler's appraisal. The diamond carries a clarity grade of VVS2 and a color grade of M/N. It was deposited into a Red Kettle at a Publix supermarket in Jacksonville, FL, and the story behind the ring and its anonymous owner remains a mystery, for now.
Kettle counter Kirk Lewis said he was stunned to find a diamond ring taped to a folded dollar bill.
The Salvation Army of Jacksonville plans to auction the ring, with the proceeds going to provide year-round services for thousands of children, families and seniors in the local area. This includes meals, toys and other holiday support for those in need, along with funding for food pantries, soup kitchens, social services and education programs.
“We are encouraged by every donation because it means someone gave of their hard-earned money to help others. We are hoping this diamond ring donation will inspire others to give,” noted Salvation Army Area Commander, Major Keath Biggers.
Biggers added that this year's Red Kettle Campaign has been challenging due to less foot traffic in retail locations due to COVID-19. He also noted that consumers are generally carrying less cash, fewer coins and are doing more electronic transactions.
“In spite of this jeweled donation, the funds raised through The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettles are at risk this year due to COVID-19, while requests for services are at an all-time high,” Biggers said.
Credits: Images courtesy of Salvation Army.