Search the Encyclopedia

Learn More at the Jefferson Library »

Featured Blog Posts

Wishing on a lucky Jefferson

by Anna Berkes Several years ago, a visitor to Monticello emailed me and asked about something they'd seen in...More »

Coins on Jefferson's Grave

Visitors to Monticello are sometimes puzzled by the sight of coins on Thomas Jefferson's gravestone. These are thrown there by tourists and others who have visited the grave site. This phenomenon was first remarked upon by the Monticello Association - who own and care for the graveyard - in 1978.[1]


  1. Annual Report of the Monticello Association, 1978, 12.

Tag this



We'd also accept Two Dollar bills!


Not sure what this is supposed to mean. However, I noticed when I vivited R E Lee's grave, outside of Lee Chapel at W&L, where Traveller is buried, there was a ton of loose change on the horse's marker. Why?


This phenomenon (of folks throwing coins on Jefferson's grave) always strikes me as strange. Sure, the allure of throwing change into fountains and pools of water--I get that. It's like some ingrained social response begun by the Romans that we'll never be able to shake. But chucking pocket change into the graveyard of one of our founding fathers? Hrm. At least the nickels with Monticello on them are thematically connected.

Add comment

Login to post comments