Golden surprise discovered in church collection box

Gold half-sovereign found in a church collection box.
Gold half-sovereign found in a church collection box.

A MYSTERY BENEFACTOR left a church fundraiser stunned when she was routinely emptying collection boxes – and found a gold half-sovereign from 1864 in one of them.

Dorothy Shepherd has spent the last ten years helping the fundraising efforts for the Church of Scotland in Cullen – and while she has come upon a few strange foreign coins from time to time, she was left stunned by the latest contribution – which has subsequently been valued at around £100.

Mrs Shepherd, 77 and the wife of local councillor Ron Shepherd, found the coin when she and her husband were counting through months of donations in the boxes. When they read the TV Antique experts Tim Hogarth and Simon Shneider were visiting Keith to evaluate local treasures, they took the coin along.

Mrs Shepherd said: “When we heard that the blokes from Dickinson’s Real Deal were coming to Keith, we thought we should go along to have it valued. When they offered me £100 for it I just thought ‘my goodness’.”

The fundraiser added that she will now be paying a lot more attention to the different coins when they are being counted out in future – but it remains a mystery just who it was that donated this particular piece of treasure.