Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, People & Places

Change: Collecting Coins at the Getty Museum

You close your eyes, make a wish, and throw a coin in a fountain.

This scene isn’t uncommon here at the Getty. Last year, some $1,649.03 worth of coins were collected from the Azalea Pool in the Central Garden, contributed by wishful Museum visitors.

But what happens after the coins settle to the bottom? How are they collected? What happens to them afterward? I asked Michael Dehart, supervisor in our Grounds and Gardens department, to explain the process. Coins collected are given to nonprofit organizations around Southern California—after some excavation work on our end.

Check out the video for the (very wet) process. (Note to garden lovers: The pathways around the azalea pool are closed for hardscape improvements till September 21, so enjoy the water up-close this way instead!)

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  1. tina
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    great video! interesting to see the whole process! glad to know all the coins get donated!

  2. Deborah
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    This is a wonderful little piece about the azalea maze. Visitors often ask what happens to the money and I’ve told them it goes to charity but now I can direct them to the Iris for a little extra look at how it’s done. Thanks for the fun videos.

  3. gail browning
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Such an interesting piece, thanks so much. It’s really great to see the whole process and know the coins go to a good cause.

  4. Liz Cohen
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyplace on the Getty website to see a photo of the maze in full bloom?

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