Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kirk. Kirk Wonders, “Why can coins be worth so much?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kirk!

Have you ever picked up a penny that was head-side up? Or thrown a coin into a fountain and made a wish? Do you have a “lucky” coin hidden away somewhere so you won’t accidentally spend it? Many people say certain coins can bring good fortune. Have you ever WONDERed if it’s true? 

Around the world, many traditions, myths, and legends are about lucky coins. Many of them claim certain actions can make coins lead to good fortune. Others—like the legend that pennies lying tails-side up—could lead to misfortune.

In Rome, there’s a special fountain for lucky coins. Called the Trevi Fountain, it receives more than $1 million in coins from hopeful people each year. People have long believed that throwing coins into it brings more than one type of good fortune. But there are rules to this game. First, you have to turn completely around. Your back should face the fountain. Then hold the coin or coins in your right hand. Finally, toss the coins over your left shoulder. As long as they land in the fountain, they could bring good luck! The legend is one coin thrown into the fountain means you will return to Rome. Two coins lead to a new romance, and three coins lead to marriage.

In Chinese culture, a lucky coin is held by the lucky money toad named Ch’an Chu. In many homes, Ch’an Chu sits on a side table or bookshelf, holding a small gold coin in his mouth. Often, the coins have small square holes in their center. Ch’an Chu and his coins are thought to bring wealth and protect one from financial disasters

Do you have the “luck of the Irish”? In Ireland, some coins are thought to be inherently lucky. People put pennies in their pockets for just that reason. Many believe that this simple act will bring them good fortune

In the United States, many people think silver dollars are lucky. This is likely because they’re both less common and worth more than other coins. Some coin collectors think starting a collection with a silver dollar will give them luck in finding other rare coins. 

Lucky coins could be just a superstition. But no one can say for sure. So…next time you find a coin, pick it up. All day long, you could have good luck!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.1, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow's Wonder of the Day may clear up some CONFUCION!