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Rare gold coin becomes a lifesaver for church looking to expand

CBS News logo CBS News 4/17/2017
Here’s a look at an 1866 Double Eagle $20 dollar gold coin, one that was never in circulation. It was provided by an anonymous woman who wanted to help an Indiana church follow through with its expansion.: The 1866 Double Eagle $20 dollar gold coin was provided by an anonymous woman.   © Heritage Auctions The 1866 Double Eagle $20 dollar gold coin was provided by an anonymous woman.  

CHICAGO -- A rare coin is helping change the future for an Indiana church.

The mystery person does not want the recognition for her good deed, but she did talk with CBS Chicago.

Piles of dirt and construction equipment will eventually be replaced by worship and song.  

The $3.5 million plans for GracePoint Church include an auditorium for more than 500, a kid’s center and a lobby.

Pastor Ben Lamb said his congregation was outgrowing the space at a nearby elementary school and they needed $300,000 to secure a building loan.

And then a kind of angel showed up.

A woman provided the money with a single coin: an 1866 Double Eagle $20 dollar gold coin, a one that was never in circulation.

The donor -- asked not to be identified by name -- said her late husband was an avid coin collector and bought it decades ago for $125,000. These days, at auction it could go for $300,000 or more.

The woman downplayed her gift.

“I have a roof over my head, I’ve got food in my mouth. I can get by just fine. I’m not looking for wealth. I’m just looking to be comfortable,” she said.

The coin goes up for auction April 27 in Schaumburg located in a suburb in northwestern Chicago.

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