Coin Fountains – What Really Happens After Throwing That Coin?

Throwing coins in a fountain is a ritual that has become a common practice around the world. As long as there is water in the fountain, there is enough reason to throw that coin over your shoulder.

An ancient ritual

Throwing coins in a fountain is an ancient ritual that originated in Europe. It is believed that long ago, weary travelers would throw coins when they found fountains of water and would refresh themselves after a long journey. This water would be considered a gift from the gods, and therefore in appreciation and thanks, people would toss coins into the fountain. Today, only the sentiment behind the myth has changed, with people tossing the coin over their shoulder with the hopes that good fortune will find them.

Present day

Today, this custom has permeated many societies in the world. In the US, it is commonplace to see children and adults tossing low-value coins and pocket change into fountains. However, many people do not know where the tradition started or why they do it. In fact, in the US, the money collected from the Bellagio Fountains alone amounts to more than $2000 per month. What happens to the coins after you and other people toss them in the water? Usually, the coins are collected from the water and are then donated to charity. For example, Bellagio says that any non-profit or charity organization can apply for a donation to paid with the money collected from its fountain.

Do people need a reason to toss coins into fountains?

Well, the answer is yes and no. Generally, people who do not know about throwing coins into fountains will not throw theirs. However, most people in the US and across Europe have grown up seeing their elders throwing coins into fountains. Thus, even if they do not know why they do that, they go ahead and throw coins.

In the US, people throw coins even in places that they are not supposed to. For example, in 2014, more than $2700 worth of coins was collected from The National September 11 Memorial. This was despite the fact that people are not supposed to throw coins in there. Maybe the feeling that perhaps the coins would be used to assist the victims of 9/11 in some way prompted them to throw coins into the memorial.

In some places like the Trevi Fountain of Rome, people are prompted to throw coins into the water out of their love for the city. It is believed that if you toss in one coin over your right shoulder, you will come back to the city. If you throw a coin over your right and left shoulders, then not only will you definitely return to Rome, but you will also have a great love life.

Throw a coin and accompany it with a wish

Humans are creatures of habit and hope. Since a silent wish accompanies every coin throw, people will toss coins in the water at every available opportunity. As T.S. Eliot once said, “Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”

And it is not that people are too charitable that they toss coins into the water. For example, the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago is enormous and attractive, but it only makes about $200 annually. Some people say that the reason why the Buckingham Fountain makes so little money is the fountain’s large size because people tend to throw their coins if they can see where the coins land and this fountain is too big for that.

Not all the coins that you toss in fountains go to charity. Sometimes the money collected will go to the maintenance of the fountain itself or other organizations will channel the proceeds to public service.

However, of one thing you can be sure, and that is that your coins will be used for a good cause. And who knows? Your wish could just come true. Life is but a dream, isn’t it?

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