Around the world, gold coins are tied to different sorts of celebrations, whether the events are happy ones or sad ones.
In China, people give each other golden coins for good luck. It is related to the practices of Feng Shui that promotes peaceful and positive thinking. They are made of gold, bras, or silver following the shape of the Qing dynasty coins. The Qing dynasty lead a time of unprecedented prosperity and relative peace in China, which is why they believe that having 3 coins tied together with a red string would bring about peace and positive energy. The coins are in the shape of a circle with a square cut out in the middle. The circle represents the sky and the square represents the earth.
In Ireland, they perform a tradition called the Irish Grushi or the wedding scramble. Whereas guests of a wedding gather around, and the married couple toss some gold coins in the air for them to collect, as a “thank you” for attending the wedding. Nowadays, the tradition is still carried on, but with sweets instead of coins, for the sake of the little children, and the costs as well.
In India, the bride in the morning of her wedding tosses around gold coins for her family as she leaves their house. Also, the night before the wedding, the bride performs a tradition called henna, where she dies parts of her skin, her feet and the palms of her hands with henna. It was carried out before using a gold coin in each hand, so that the henna would print the shape of the coin in the palm of her hands.
Coins were also exchanged between lovers as tokens. Some would split them if they were to be apart, and others would give them as gifts to prove true love.
Those chocolate coins that are covered in gold foil were once real gold coins. It was related to the Jewish Hanukah. The Jews would mint gold coins to tip the workers extra on the holidays. Then the tradition was altered to chocolate coins instead of real coins.
Another Jewish tradition was when they visited a loved one’s grave; they would leave a gold or silver coin on the tombstone. As a sign of love and care that this person had loved ones who cared to visit their grave.
Gold coins also played part in old funeral rituals at some parts of the world. The ancient Greeks used to send their dead warriors off with two gold coins on each eye. Because they believed that these coins were a payment or a bribe for Charon, the ferryman who takes the dead across the river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead.
Also the Hmong people in Vietnam, they would send boats filled with gold coins along with the dead ones, as they believed that it wasn’t appropriate for the dead one to leave the world without a fortune. This ritual is still carried out till our days, but instead of real gold coins, the coins are false.
Ancient Egyptians, as well, used to bury their loved ones with all sorts of gold, jewelry, and coins. as they believed that the dead continues to live in the other world, so they buried them alongside their wealth so they could use it to support themselves after death.
As you may see, gold is involved in many traditions and rituals all around the world, because it is timeless and universal. It is the most precious gift to give a loved one, whether dead or alive.