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Find a penny

Lesser-known lore relating to roadside coins.

If you find a penny and you *don't* pick it up, more good luck accrues to it. So, the more people walk by a penny (or other coin) and don't pick it up, the luckier it becomes--but only if they deliberately don't pick it up. If they simply fail to notice it, then it doesn't count.

So you can use this as a good-luck savings account: See a coin, but don't pick it up. Wait a number of days proportional to the amount of good luck you'd like to collect. As with all investments, there are risks. Someone else might pick up your coin.

littlemoremasks told me that it's only good luck to pick up a heads-up coin. It's bad luck to pick up a tails-up one. If you want to make good luck possible, you should turn the coin over--but you can't then pick it up. You have to leave it for someone else.

I'm not sure littlemoremasks is right about the bad-luck aspect of tails-up coins. It could be his way of ensuring no one picks up tails-up coins that he's investing luck in.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC)
darkpaisley believes that tails-up pennies are also bad luck. The 20 year old semi-homeless college student I used to be believes they are 1/25 of a Little Debbie snack cake.
Nov. 10th, 2015 04:40 pm (UTC)
The 20 year old semi-homeless college student I used to be believes they are 1/25 of a Little Debbie snack cake.

Oooh, that rivals Alan Greenspan's financial pronouncements or Delphic oracles' predictions in ambiguity. Personally, I think that makes them sound like very good luck. But I suppose from my arteries' long-term perspective, they might be quite insidious.

Well played, cucumberseed!
Nov. 10th, 2015 05:03 pm (UTC)
They are starting to realize what even short-term bouts with poverty do to a brain, but there are, as in all things, skills to be gained. I used to scrounge change out of parking lots in the UConn area for food, so now that I do not have to do that, I sometimes throw coins into the parking lots of places I go, just in case someone in need is looking. It's not effective charity, but it is a small imperative I have to follow.
Nov. 10th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
I sometimes throw coins into the parking lots of places I go, just in case someone in need is looking.

It may not be effective charity, but it is very good magic.
Nov. 10th, 2015 05:26 pm (UTC)
I hope so.
Nov. 10th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC)
I've also heard that, if you pick up a penny and then give it away, there's more good luck for both parties.
Nov. 10th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
Makes sense to me. Generosity and kindness amplify all good magic.
Nov. 10th, 2015 05:26 pm (UTC)
I like this one especially.
Nov. 10th, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC)
Finally, a post that makes me want a FB-type "like" response!
Nov. 10th, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm happy it aroused a "like" reaction!
Nov. 10th, 2015 08:56 pm (UTC)
I head the "tails up = bad luck" before. But "the more who pass and deliberately don't pick it up = more good luck" is new to me, but very cool. (Makes me want to work it into a story.)
Nov. 10th, 2015 08:59 pm (UTC)
I have to confess that the thing about adding on the luck is just my own imagination, but it seems so plausible, doesn't it? And I feel like lots of people must have thoughts that are variations on that.

... And go for it! Put it in a story :-)
Nov. 10th, 2015 11:16 pm (UTC)
Is it a Canadian penny or an American? As in An African or a European swallow?
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC)
And what's its weight when laden with wishes?
Nov. 10th, 2015 11:41 pm (UTC)
I'm always afraid to touch a tails-up penny. The last thing I need is bad luck. But I often leave heads-up pennies (from my purse) laying around for other people to find, and hopefully have good luck.
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:25 pm (UTC)
That's nice of you!

I hope people in need of luck find them.
Nov. 11th, 2015 12:55 am (UTC)
Now I feel so extra-selfish for my habit of invariably picking up coins from the ground!

Now, though, I'll need to take notice of which side is up, to find out whether they've been left about so profligately because ~~~danger~~~.

Edited at 2015-11-11 12:58 am (UTC)
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
Haha, yes! It seems the tails-up-equals-danger wisdom is widespread. I feel lucky not to have known it in childhood.
Nov. 11th, 2015 08:10 am (UTC)
I have heard the "tail's up = bad luck" before, but when you need every penny you can get, you don't care much for that. :P I vaguely remember flipping pennies over with a stick before picking them up if the head was down.

And now I leave the coins, knowing someone else out there needs them more than I. I've never deliberately scattered coins like some of your readers, though. :)
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:27 pm (UTC)
Using a stick so as not to touch the bad luck with your own skin--very interesting, and no doubt effective.
Nov. 11th, 2015 10:49 am (UTC)
I know it as "see a pin, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck". This is the first time I've heard of "see a penny...".

Edited at 2015-11-11 10:49 am (UTC)
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
Isn't that interesting! A different sort of good luck: by picking up a pin, you presumably prevent someone else from potentially getting hurt, so the good luck is like a reward for a good deed done. Maybe. Or maybe it's that in the olden days, pins were as precious as pennies.
Nov. 12th, 2015 01:23 am (UTC)
Yes, I expect so. Pin-money. :)
Nov. 11th, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC)
I hold both the luck-adding and the tails-flipping properties of pennies, but I've also never tried to game the system there. [laughing] It wouldn't have occurred to me! One pokes the bear of fairy tale logic at one's own peril.
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC)
I've only **contemplated** gaming the system. Opportunistic imagination. But I haven't actually put it in practice. Too greedy to pass up a good-luck coin when I see it.
Nov. 11th, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
Interesting...is this true about the luck? I always pick the coin if I find one but drop-it off in the tip jar or a homeless person's cup. May be I should get the luck collected before I donate.
Nov. 11th, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
The part about luck being added if you leave the coin is something I made up--the other parts, though, about picking up a coin being good luck, that's an actual belief (and true! because you, or the person you give the coin to, is that much richer.)
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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