Jewel of a gift lands in Kansas City area Salvation Army kettle 12 Dec 11

(Reuters) – Tossing a stone into a Salvation Army kettle at Christmas wouldn’t be a nice thing to do. Unless it’s a diamond, of course.

Someone recently put a 3/4-carat diamond in a kettle outside a Walmart in Shawnee, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. It was appraised Thursday at $2,000.

A Salvation Army employee found the loose diamond wrapped in paper, said Major Michele Heaver, a spokeswoman for the group.

“First he thought it was trash and then he discovered it was quite the opposite,” Heaver said Friday. “He told us about it and we put it in a safe.”

The diamond was cut about 100 years ago, Heaver said, citing the appraiser. It will be set in a ring and auctioned off, with proceeds used to help families and others in need, she said.

Over the years, other items besides cash and checks have appeared in Salvation Army kettles, including gold bars, gold coins and wads of cash, Heaver said.

“I’ve never heard of an actual diamond,” Heaver said. “We are very excited to get that type of donation.”