Metal detectors can be used to find a plethora of items. The first metal detector was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881. A portable version followed in 1931. Items found with metal detectors range from common, such as modern day coins, to the rare and valuable.
In 1993 a Civil War battle medal was found using a metal detector that sold at auction for $11,000. The medal, which commemorated the Confederate victory of Sabine Pass, is one of only seven known in existence today.
In 2009 a gentleman in Britain used his metal detector to find 6,000 copper coins that dated back to the Roman empire. The same year produced thousands of other finds in Britain such as medieval swords and candle sticks, Bronze age axes, and Roman brooches and hair pins.
Over five kilograms of gold and silver in the form of Anglo-Saxon weapons, coins, crosses and helmet decorations was found in Staffordshire, England using metal detectors. The estimated value of the fifteen hundred items found was over one million dollars, and it is estimated that hundreds of similar items are still located in the soil waited to be unearthed.
A metal detector enthusiast in the Netherlands found a total of one hundred and nine silver and gold coins minted in the middle of the first century during the time that the soon to be Roman ruler Julius Caesar was leading a campaign against his Celtic foes in the area. The ancient Celtic coins were found in a cornfield.