People often use metal detectors to search beaches, parks and similar areas for lost items made of metal, such as coins or jewelry. The hobby typically involves scanning a specific area, sometimes removing surface debris, until the detector picks up an object. The person then digs into the ground to unearth the object.
The metal detector is a common tool for hobbyists who want to search for metal items of interest or value, while others use it as one of many methods for adding to a specific collection. For example, many coin collectors visit populated areas with natural ground, such as grass or sand, and use a metal detector to look for coins buried underneath. Beaches, in particular, are popular among metal detector enthusiasts because visitors tend to lose items in the shifting sands. Also, some items lost in the water tend to drift ashore, then bury themselves in the beaches.
It is common for history enthusiasts to use metal detectors to locate relics from the past, particularly in towns or other areas with a long history. Some people use metal detectors to look for items with a monetary value, beyond simply coins, such as jewelry. In addition to collecting these items, it is common for the metal detector user to sell the items he discovers to dealers, pawn shops or other collectors.