[Skip to Content]
National Memorial Planning - Homepage

What Does Leaving Coins on Graves Mean?

Have you ever seen coins left on a grave? Maybe you saw it on the grave of a friend or a family member and were wondering what it means. Should you take it home or leave it as it is? Here, we discuss the tradition of leaving coins on graves and what significance they hold.

Placing coins on a grave is a common practice among military members. If you see coins on the grave of a soldier, it means that someone had visited and paid their respects to them. Leaving the coin is a way of letting the family of the fallen know that somebody, usually another military member, came by to honor their memory and pay respects.

Did you also know that different coins have different meanings? Here is a breakdown that is easy to follow:

  • Penny

A penny simply means that someone, not necessarily a person who has any relations with the deceased, visited and simply wanted to honor their service and thank them and their family.

  • Nickel

A nickel at the grave means that the person who left it and the deceased trained together at boot camp.

  • Dime

A dime signifies that the person who left it at the grave and the deceased served together in some capacity.

  • Quarter

A quarter at a grave means that the person who left it was with the deceased when they passed away.

For years service men and women have used this tradition to pay their respects to the people with whom they trained or served. But sometimes, non-military people may also leave coins at graves as a way of showing their respect to a loved one who has passed. Besides, in olden days, the coins were said to hold good luck for the deceased in the afterlife.


Thanks for reading,