Tombstone Tuesday-Coins Left on a Tombstone

Occasionally I will see coins that were left on a tombstone. What does that mean?

Coins, Evans Cemetery, Pennsylvania

Coins placed on a headstone or at a gravesite show that someone has visited the grave to pay their respects and to honor the deceased. The coins symbolize that the deceased is still in the family’s thoughts and is a practical way to honor a loved one. Some see it as a substitute for flowers.

Coins, Evans Cemetery, Pennsylvania

People also leave coins the tombstones of veterans to honor them and, by bring attention to their graves, encourage others to honor those who served. This became a common gravesite practice during the Vietnam War.

Coins, Evans Cemetery, Pennsylvania

The custom of gravesite coins dates back to ancient Greek mythology, where soldiers inserted a coin into the mouth of a fallen soldier to ensure the deceased could pay the fee to cross the River Styx and enter the afterlife.

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