“Find a penny pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck.” You’ve probably heard that little rhyme, right? It actually has a pretty interesting origin.
Many ancient cultures believed metals were precious gifts from the gods and would bring you good luck when found. Though pennies are not worth much, picking them up was also considered good luck because it increased your wealth. The bad luck from pennies comes from the understanding of a constant battle between good and evil. If one thing is good, the other must be bad. If one side of a penny brings good luck, the other side brings bad.
This is where the heads up for luck and tails for bad luck comes from. If you find a penny with the “good” side up, pick it up. If the “bad” side is up, leave it be. If you inadvertently pick up a “tails up” penny, avoid the bad luck by putting it back down heads up to help the luck of someone else.