Q & A with Greg Toney (a.k.a. SCdigger)

If you are not familiar with Greg Toney see if this rings a bell.

Hope you enjoy and thanks Greg for taking the time to do this. I appreciate it…..

Q. Greg I know you live in South Carolina but do you mind telling us where in particular?

A. Anderson, SC (upstate SC)

 

Q. Can I also be a little personal and ask what it is you do for a living?

A. I have been teaching Public Speaking at the local technical college for over 20 years.

 

Q. Are you married and if so does your wife detect too?

A. I have been married to my lovely wife Lynn for 27 years. My son Wales is 23 and a graduate of Clemson University with a degree in Business and was a member of the Tiger baseball team. Gracie is a Junior at the University to South Carolina where she is a Public Relations major and has made the Dean’s List every semester she’s been in School. My youngest child is a three year old Shih Tzu named Essie.

Neither my wife or children have shown much of an interest in participating in the hobby, but they do tolerate my passion for relic hunting. They even show interest in things I’ve found (even if they are just pretending to care!) haha….

The Toneys: Lynn, Wales, Essie, Gracie and a cleaned up SCdigger….

 

Q. So what was it that got you interested in metal detecting?

A. I’ve always had a passion for history. I started hunting Native American artifacts when I was about 8 growing up in Central Alabama along the Tallapoosa River. I received a really cheap metal detector as a Christmas gift one year. I’m not sure I ever really found anything with it. Move forward about 35 years, and my wife and I were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. We were going to get each other frivolous gifts of what we wanted…I went for a metal detector. Little did I know where it was going to lead me down the road!

 

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

A. I got my first real metal detector, a Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II, for my tenth wedding anniversary present in 2000. So, I’ve been swinging for about 17 years.

 

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

A. I didn’t know much about machines and the web was just in its infancy as far as research goes, so my resources were limited. I also knew I had to go with a budget machine that got some good reviews, thus I went with that machine.

 

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

A. My VERY FIRST signal was a matchbox car in the yard. I still have a ziplock bag with all of the “treasure” from that very first outing.

 

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

A. My VERY FIRST “good” target was a 1939 German 2 Reichsmark.

 

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

A. My goal, getting into the hobby, was to find my own Civil War relics. I already had a small collection of things I had purchased (bullets, buttons), but I wanted to get out there and find my own…save my own History.

 

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

A. It was the 1939 German 2 Reichsmark I just mentioned and believe it or not it was on my very first hunt.

 

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

A. I really haven’t found many rings. I think maybe it was a cheap silver ring with dolphins on it that I found on a sand volleyball court while camping at a state park.

 

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

A. I did spend a lot of time researching in the beginning by studying old maps. As I’ve grown in the hobby, I learn how to research better to include resources such as old diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings.

Pretty cool coin spill found by Greg

 

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

A. At first, I thought I’d like to dig by myself…however, I’ve learned that it’s MUCH more enjoyable to share a hunt with someone who has the same passion for the hobby as I do. I get as much excitement out of watching someone else dig a cool relic as digging it myself.

 

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

A. It usually depends on who has the permission and where we think we have the best chance of actually finding something.

 

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

A. My best find to date definitely goes to my 1847 Charleston Porter slave tag.

 

Q. What is your “oldest” find to date?

A. 1666 Rich Fellows Dorchester Farthing, found in a British camp in upstate SC

1666 Rich Fellows Dorchester Farthing

 

Q. What detector are you currently using and why?

A. Teknetics T2 and T2 SE. I’ve used dozens of machines over the years and I’m convinced that the T2, for the money, is the best relic machine out there.

 

Q. Okay then, why is the T2 the best relic machine out there?

A. I have used dozens of machines over the years and have found that, to me, the T2 is the best bang for the buck! It’s super deep (even with the 5″ coil), has great target separation and fast recovery time. Where we hunt, most of the time, the ground conditions are really good, but I’ve also had really good success in highly mineralized ground such as is around Culpeper, VA. 

 

Q. Can you share a setting or two?

A. Me and my digging partner Russ “Palmetto” Hebert both run our T2’s the same way…Sens 80 (or higher is conditions allows), Disc 0, Tones 2+…it can be noisy in a site with lot’s of iron, but pair that up with a small 5″ coil and it can’t be beat!

Greg “SCdigger” Toney with his hunting partner Russ “Palmetto” Hebert

 

Q. What accessories do you carry in the field?

A. Detector, predator shovel, pinpointer, small hand digger, toothbrush, empty dip can with cotton in it for the “goodies”, hydration pack if I’m going to be far from the vehicle.

 

Q. How often do you get out detecting today?

A. Because of where we live and hunt, we don’t hunt much during the summer, and during the fall because of deer season. But during the winter, we are in the woods or field every weekend.

 

Q. Where do you concentrate your time….parks, rural areas, homesites, etc..?

A. Old homesites or campsites in wooded areas or plowed fields.

Buttons anyone?

 

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

A. I’d really like to find a South Carolina belt plate, or any other Confederate plate for that matter.

 

Q. Have you detected overseas at all?

A. Never been overseas, but the idea of it intrigues me.

 

Q. What would your ideal detector look like?

A. It would look like a Teknetics T2, but waterproof.

 

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

A. This is a hobby that takes patience. You’ve got to be willing to put in the work. Work doing research. Work gaining permissions. Work digging 100’s of holes with trash in them to get to that one great find.Buy the best machine you can afford to buy, then learn how to use it.

Be sure to check out Greg’s other YouTube videos at “Saving History with the SC Digger”

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4 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

4 responses to “Q & A with Greg Toney (a.k.a. SCdigger)

  1. Butch Holcombe American Digger Magazine

    Great interview with a great guy! We are proud to add that Greg was an American Digger copy editor for a few years, too.

  2. “…I learn how to research better to include resources such as old diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings.” Now, that’s the mark of a smart Tekkie.

    You deserve all success, Greg.

  3. Interesting interview, Dick. Greg is a smart and thorough detectorist, researcher and treasure hunter. I enjoyed the interview very much!

  4. Coin25

    I enjoyed that interview, thanks to you both.
    It’s good to hear some of the how too’s of Relic Hunting which is a big part of this crazy hobby.

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