If you find a coin on a loved one’s gravestone, you had better know what it means

We all have different traditions when it comes to commemorating and paying tribute to our loved ones who have passed away.

In today’s world, honoring the customs of others while commemorating the lives of the departed ought to come as standard practice. Some may choose to follow traditions or practices that the rest of us are not familiar with, but it doesn’t make them any less legitimate.

The same is true with gravestones and the ornamentation certain families choose to place over their loved ones’ last resting places. Coins being placed on headstones is one custom that is widely practiced and that you have probably witnessed at some point. However, why is this even a thing? And from whence did it originate? Continue reading to learn more.

Coins are traditionally placed on gravestones in cemeteries around the United States and other countries. When I was a little child, I first observed it when I was at my grandfather’s tomb, and even then, I started to wonder what it was all about.

Luckily, finding the beginnings online doesn’t need much research. Although it was previously thought that the practice originated with Roman military troops, a number of sources have disproved that theory in recent years.

Still, there’s a military connection to leaving pennies on gravestones. The American Legion Website states on one of its pages that it can be linked to the Vietnam War.

“Leaving a coin was considered a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the soldier’s grave than contacting the soldier’s family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war, due to the political divide in the country over the war.”

Ever notice a penny left on a gravestone? Were you aware of its meaning? Tell us in the comments below.

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