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!)