Why Do We Throw Coins in Fountains?

Why do we throw coins into fountains? Every year, all over the world, we pepper everything from fountains to wells to even theme park rides with our coins. We do it because we want good luck. We do it because we want a wish to come true. In some cases, we do it to marry someone in Rome. It is a timeless tradition, but where does it come from?

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Additional Sources

Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains by Greg Borzo

Dundes, Alan. “The Folklore of Wishing Wells.” American Imago, vol. 19, no. 1, 1962, pp. 27–34.

Roman Britain by Peter Salway

PBS – The Roman Empire in the First Century – Pliny the Younger

Terminal Display Fountains (“Mostre”) and the Aqueducts of Ancient Rome – Peter J. Aicher

University of California Irvine – Wishing Wells: The Practice of Buying Good Fortune

The Atlantic – What Happens to the Coins People Toss Into Fountains? (Jun 02 2016)

Las Vegas Review-Journal – Coins thrown in Las Vegas Strip fountains help charities (Jun 12 2011)

Chicago Tribune – Coins in our fountains: Following the money (Aug 14 2002)

Attractions Magazine – What does Disney do with all the coins thrown into attractions and fountains? (Dec 25 2014)

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