Hammy Sammy is back!

After a short hiatus “Hammy Sammy” is back.  Sammy (a.k.a. Samantha Jane Nye) is no stranger to many detectorists but if the name is not familiar sit back and enjoy.  Oh and despite having only started out in 2011 her finds will put many long time detectorists to shame. Thanks Sammy.

Q. Sammy I know you live in the UK but do you mind telling us where in particular?

A. I live in a little town called Darwen. it’s in the North West of England.


Q. Can I also be a little personal and ask if you are married and if so is your husband a detectorist too?

A. I am currently in a relationship with Paul.  l have six children from an earlier relationship  –  Jamie, Jessica, Dylan, Tyler, Brandon and Callum.

Sammy & Paul

The little Hammys! Front row, left to right: Jamie, Brandon, Jessica & Dylan. Back row left to right: Callum and Tyler


Q. What exactly was it that got you interested in metal detecting?

A. Here in England, we had a show called Time Team. it was archaeologists conducting excavations in different parts of the country and it really got me curious.


Q. When did you start and what was your very first metal detector?

A. I started roughly 6 years ago and my very first detector was a Garrett Ace 250.


Q. And what was it that made you purchase that particular brand/model?

A. It was recommended to me as a good beginners machine by fellow detectorists.


Q. What was your very first signal/find? Do you remember?

A. My very first find I can never forget.  I was so excited! I found my first coin the first time I went out on an organized dig with my club. The coin was a Georgian one penny, and while it wasn’t a significant find it was to me because I found it.

Sammy and her not so significant Georgian penny. What is significant is that she’s wearing a New York Yankee cap (a gal after my own heart).


Q. What was your very first good or decent find, as in keeper.

A. I attended an organized rally with a club called Central Searchers and while hunting I received a really great signal that turned out to be a Roman crossbow brooch. It got quite a lot of attention that day lol.

Sammy’s Roman crossbow brooch


Q. In the beginning did you concentrate on one particular treasure? i.e., did you hunt for coins, relics, jewelry….

A. I have always had a passion for artefacts because they tell more of a story than coins do but I do like to find coins too.


Q. How long did it take you to find your first silver coin and do you remember what it was?

A. It took me about a good couple of months to find my first silver. It was a medieval hammered coin.

Sammy’s first silver….



Q. How long did it take you to find your first ring and what kind of ring was it?

A. Actually my very first ring find was a hoard of Roman rings!  Four rings in one hole. It was an amazing day.



Q. Did you spend a lot of time researching in the beginning and if so how did you go about it?

A. Yeah one of the things I love about the hobby is the research. Reading local history and then after finding something in the field being able to identify it through research.  It’s a great feeling.


Q. Do you belong to a club?

A. Yes. The Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Detectorists Club.


Q. Do you prefer hunting with others or are you a loner?

A. I don’t mind hunting on my own or with others, I do prefer to be with others because I like the social aspect of the hobby where we are a great community and share with one another different experiences and finds.


Q. If you do go out with others who decides on where to detect?

A. When I go out hunting with others it is usually as part of an organized dig with a club so we tend to just go on land that has been provided for us.


Q. What would you consider to be your best find after so far?

A. My Roman Hippocampus brooch, I found that with a Makro Racer that I borrowed from a friend Jim Ward. It dates back to the second century AD.


Q. A tougher question….what is your “oldest” find to date?

A. Wow! That is a tough one LOL, my oldest finds tend to be anything from my Roman collection. I have got a collection of Roman brooches and Roman coins so it is difficult to say which is the oldest.


Q. What detector are you currently using and why?

A. I am currently using the Garrett AT Pro.  I’ve taken time out of the hobby to deal with a few personal issues so just rejoined and thought I would give the Garrett AT Pro a try.  Many of my fellow detectorists have one and give great reviews.


Q. Can you share a few settings or tips?

A. Not really. I haven’t used it enough. My first dig is coming up on Saturday so looking forward to getting out there with it. The best tip I could give anyone is to learn your machine and treat it as your new best friend. You look after it and it will look after you.


Q. What accessories do you carry in the field?

A. I have a Black Ada Spartan – Searcher Red spade that has just been released, a Garrett pro-pointer II, AT Pro finds bag & cap, sling your hook that attaches to my belt and carries my spade for me. Finds box and my iphone 7+ for filming my finds.


Q. How often do you get out detecting today?

A. Now it will only be once a week.  I am so busy it’s just fitting in the time.  I have dedicated myself one day a week to go out detecting and just forget about life in general.  It really helps clear the mind.


Q. I know you work hard in the UK to get places to detect. How do you go about knocking on doors.

A. We just knock on the farmers door and tell them who we are, what we do and what we would like from them. Some say yes and other times they say no…. we can’t have them all unfortunately


Q. You surely have a bucket list. Care to share it?

A. I would love to find some Saxon artefacts for sure. That era really interests me so it would be nice to have something. 


Q. Have you  ever detected here in the colonies?

A. My wish is to someday detect across the pond. I am really fascinated by some of the history the guys recover from over there.

Cover Gal….


Q. What would your ideal detector look like?

A. I have actually got my ideal detector now/ It looks just like how I would want it and it is really well designed.


Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to other detectorists, what would they be?

A. Good luck, lol.


Next Q & A – Relic hunter Greg Toney. Coming soon….



Filed under Metal Detecting

14 responses to “Hammy Sammy is back!

  1. Peter Gill

    Nice interview and great having Sammy back with us 🙂

  2. Paul Conway

    Love this! Proud of you girl! Wish you all the best and “Happy Hunting!” 😜😜❤️❤️❤️💑💑💑💑 xxx love you xxx

  3. Wow…Sammy pulling finds we can only dream about here across the pond in the U.S.! If it wasn’t for John Howland, I’d never even would have touched a Roman coin or artifact…or artefact…rather. I am glad Sammy is back too, although nobody told me she was gone in the first place. Why am I always the last to know???? Finds that are beyond description, in my book, and once again proves my theory that women have better hearing than men…at least I think this proves it…maybe not. Well, another excellent interview Dick, and an introduction to another fruitful detectorist carrying on the tradition! Congrats Hammy Sammy on all your finds and future recoveries!

  4. Well done Sammy…keep the flag flying!

  5. wintersen

    That’s a smart spade you have there. Spartan, but nice. If you like it … and only if you approve … write a few words and I’ll publish them in the mag: john@thesearcher.co.uk

  6. Coin25

    Very interesting interview and terrific finds. If you had the chance to detect here in the States – which one would you go to?

  7. Hammy Sammy

    I would go anywhere across the pond lol 😊

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