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The spell description reads:

Alternatively, the spell can locate the nearest object of a particular kind, such as a certain kind of apparel, jewelry, furniture, tool, or weapon. This spell can’t locate an object if any thickness of lead, even a thin sheet, blocks a direct path between you and the object.

If I were to find, say, a silver piece and I found one indeed, but then I moved in a way there were another silver piece in the spell range, that were closer than the one I detected, would I locate the latter one, or would the spell be, so to speak, locked on the first detected target?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you describe a situation where this really matters? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Feb 11 '18 at 14:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I want to find a hidden treasure, but I don't care about silver owned by NPCs. \$\endgroup\$ – codeholic Feb 11 '18 at 14:36
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Ask your DM

The basic principle is spells do only what they say they do. See the JC's tweet:

A spell's text details the spell's effects—the only thing the spell does. Any additional effects are up to the DM.

The Locate Object spell locates an object. Since 5th edition does not explicitly codify many things, the details are up to the DM. Players can go creative and try invent other applications (say "find all similar silver pieces around me using only one spell"). The outcome is the matter of the DM's discretion in this case.

I'd say it locates only one object

The spell is named "locate object" (not "objects") and says it "can locate the nearest object" (not "objects"), so I'd say RAI one spell locates one particular object. So yes, it does lock on a target.

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