Why Do People Leave Coins on Headstones?

Why Do People Leave Coins on Headstones?

July 8, 2022

You may have noticed coins left on tombstones before and wondered what that is all about. It is natural that you would have some questions about this. We are the Phillipsburg Memorial Company, and we want you to know that there are some solemn reasons why people leave coins on headstones. It is important to respect the people who do this, and we will explain why. 

Why Do People Leave Coins on Headstones? 

There are specific reasons why people leave coins on headstones, and it is to symbolize their reason for visiting a specific tombstone. Those who visit military headstones are the ones who are most likely to leave coins, and they do so to symbolize the following: 

  • A penny on the headstone means that an everyday person has visited the grave of the deceased.
  • A nickel means that someone who trained in boot camp with the deceased has visited.
  • A dime means that the deceased and the visitor served together in combat.

These symbols are meant to alert the family of the deceased that someone has paid a visit to give their respects. It is a sign of respect and honor for the service and sacrifice that the veteran put forth. Needless to say, this is a very kind gesture and something that many family members greatly appreciate. They like that people are willing to go the extra mile to let them know that they visited and that the visit meant something special to them. 

Is it Appropriate to Leave Coins?

Even those not actively serving in the military themselves and who have never served in the military can leave coins behind on the tombstones of those they have come to pay their respects to. This simple gesture is considered appropriate for anyone to do as long as they follow the instructions above. If you did not have any direct connection to the deceased, then the best thing to do is to leave a penny. This simply means that you stopped by to pay your respects. 

Those who have a deeper connection to the deceased may decide to leave a nickel or a dime to let the family know that someone very close to the deceased has stopped by to pay them a visit. It is the ultimate sign of respect to do so, and many people have found that they simply want to leave some sign that they happened to be by to honor the deceased in some capacity. 

The next time you happen to be in a graveyard paying your respects to fallen warriors, make sure you bring some coins to honor those people and let the families know you have come by for a visit. It will likely mean a great deal to them that you have done this, and you may help make it easier for the family to carry on with their day-to-day lives after they have seen your coins. 

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