We have been throwing coins into fountains for as long as we have had fountains to throw coins into. The main reason for this is that water is required for life, therefore, statues of Gods were often found near wells/water sources turning them into shrines.
This is how the habit started so the question I ask is what is the difference between picking up a coin off the ground compared to from a fountain. If there is no sign saying that the money thrown in will be donated to a certain charity or help fund a building/place, who owns this money.
This question came to mind after I filmed this young entrepreneur / young man taking the money out of a fountain at Bom Jesus Do Mont near Braga in North Portugal. I had headed up there at night when I was travelling around Europe in my camping car to take photos.
I spotted him cycling up to the fountain and waiting until no one was around before reaching into the water and stealing the coins. I have been brought up knowing what is right and wrong. I would never dream of doing this but it did raise a question in my mind.
Is this theft or a free for all? Thoughts, please