Never pick up a coin from a gravestone. Here's why

Apr 26, 2018
08:05 P.M.
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For many years people have been leaving special items on gravestones, but this particular item has a particular meaning. 


Walking through a graveyard it's easy to spot flowers and other special momentos like soft toys that have been left leaning against gravestones. But some people also leave coins for certain people. 

As reported by Shared, some people may pick up these coins and pocket them, while others believe that this will bring bad luck to the thief. 

As it turns out, the reason for leaving coins on gravestones is a longstanding tradition dating back to the days of the Vietnam War. During that time, visitors would leave coins on veterans gravestones as a sign of respect and thanks.

Some even believe that the money is to pay for the veteran's first beer when they are reunited at the pearly gates. 


But there are also different meanings associated with each different coin. 

People who leave pennies for veterans are thanking them for their service to their country. 

Nickels are left by people who trained with the deceased veteran at bootcamp. Dimes indicate someone who served with the deceased during war time has visited the gravesite. 


Quarters are perhaps the most heartwrenching of them all, as they are left by people who were present at the time the veteran was killed. 

These coins should never be picked up by members of the public, but they are collected by cemetery workers for a good cause.

The money is either used for maintenance at the cemetery, or donated to veterans' families who cannot afford burial costs. 


There are also a number of other traditions of small objects that are left on gravestones. In Jewish culture, many people leave pebbles from their gardens on gravestones, to commemorate a time before headstones existed. 

Most graveyards will have all tombstones facing in the same direction. Headstones face east, so that the deceased can watch the sunrise every morning, and possibly be reborn with the sun. 

Many people also have animal carvings on their headstones. While some may just be a personal meaning, there are other animals that have a specific meaning. 

Lambs symbolize that the deceased is a child. Roosters are a symbol of judgement day. Doves symbolize the Holy Spirit. If the dove is lying dead, it means the deceased died suddenly.