Anybody swinging a coil knows who KG & Ringy are but do you know who George Wyant and Tim Saylor are? Well read on and find out….
Q. Tim (Ringy) and George (KG), if you don’t mind tell us a little about yourself, i.e., where do you live, are you married, what other hobbies do you have, where do you keep you keep your valuables, etc….
A. RINGY: I live in Arizona with my wife Carlotta and her naked pink hairless Sphynx cat. Most of the readers of this column will already know that KG and I are the notorious weirdos from that National Geographic show called DIGGERS. I’m married to Carlotta Brandenburg, have a son that is attending med school at the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), and am a grad of Iowa myself. My brother and I have played in rock bands most of our lives. (He’s a way better guitar player than me.) Check us out here.
What else…? One of my degrees is in German, and I can still get around Germany fairly well using the language if forced to do so. My valuables are all kept in a 55 gallon barrel in the basement of an abandoned train depot in Yuma, Arizona. There are five or six barrels down there, but mine’s the one with the ATC sticker on the side.
Carlotta, Tim and friend
A. KG: I’m married and live in Kansas with my wife and two daughters. My wife is an RN, and both of my daughters are on the same path, so they should be able to take care of me in my old age. I’ve got 40 acres here, so I get to do a lot of hunting and fishing with the family.
George and his wife Lori
Q. How long have you two known each other and how did you meet?
A. RINGY: We met after I found my old detector during the move to Montana, and decided to try it in my “new” backyard. I found three silver coins, and was immediately re-hooked. KG found out through the grapevine that I had a detector, and because he always wanted one, got me on the phone to talk about it. At that time, we were barely even aware of each other’s presence in the universe, but that phone call was the spark that eventually led to our friendship and the Anaconda Treasure Company, Team ATC, the Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, the ATC book Treasure Hunting with Team ATC, our relationship with Garrett, the NatGeo television series DIGGERS, and most recently, the TV show DIGGIN with KG and Ringy.
A. KG: Yep.
Q. Does anyone else in your family detect?
A. RINGY: My wife Carlotta (CB as we call her), was a gold hunter before I met her, and has learned to love hunting coins and relics over the years in places like Austrailia & England as well. CB is also SCUBA certified, so we have been diving as often as our schedules allow. My son Ian tried it for awhile, even found his first Barber dime, but got busy with real life and eventually went off to med school.
Carlotta & Ian
A. KG: Every once in a while my wife and daughters metal detect, but not that often.
Lori and her oldest coin (so far)
Q. When exactly did you start detecting and what got you interested?
A. RINGY: Even as a kid, I was always interested in coins and coin-like objects. I didn’t start detecting until later when I saw someone dig up a silver quarter and was shocked by the realization that there was a whole world of treasure hidden in the dirt below our feet. I bought my first detector soon after, but really never used it much beyond that first summer for a variety of reasons: school, guitars, girls, etc. After meeting KG in Montana, everything would change, and little did I know, I would one day become the “Ringmaster”.
A. KG: I started with Tim after we decided to get a couple of Garrett GTI2500s (before he was “the Ringmaster” and before we had our nicknames), and I was always interested in all the old history in the area anyway. The detecting was another form of hunting for me, and that got me interested in finding local artifacts.
2006 – when we were Tim and George
2005 – before we were Tim and George
Q. What was your first metal detector and what was it that made you purchase or use that particular brand/model?
A. RINGY: After seeing the guy dig up that silver quarter I had to have a detector. Saved my pennies, and bought a White’s 3000D for about $127.00. Not sure why I remember that price, but I do. Took me forever to save up that cash!
A. KG: Garrett GTI2500 with Treasure Talk.
Q. In the beginning where did you concentrate your time? What particular areas did you search?
A. RINGY: The first places I detected were in Iowa. Mainly residential yard permissions in Eastern Iowa. An old church comes to mind, which was my first real “non-residential” permission, where I found my first half dollar (and spill – there was a silver Washington quarter in the same hole with it). It was a 1952 Franklin half, with a 1952 quarter. In that same church yard, I found a 1933 Hoover World’s Fair token, and of course, a silver plated ring.
A. KG: Started in Montana where I grew up, because I knew almost everyone in town, so I was able to get permissions on some old ranches that had old stone foundations out in the fields.
Q. Curious what was your very first signal/find? Do you by chance remember?
A. RINGY: I don’t remember my very first signal, but I can tell you that my very first day of detecting yielded 25 cents in clad, and that it was February 24, 1985.
A. KG: Clad coins over in the park in Anaconda, Montana.
Q. Guys what was your first good or decent find, as in keeper?
A. RINGY: I guess it would be my first ring I found, even though it was plated. It’s a sentimental thing now.
A. KG: A 1909 Barber dime found at an old foundation in the Montana mountains. Ringy tells me it was on May 15, 2005. I had no idea. He’s relentlessly nerdy about writing that stuff down.
Q. Another brain test….how long did it take you to find your first silver coin and what was it?
A. RINGY: My first “real” find was a silver coin — a 1946D Roosevelt dime, found in Iowa on March 12, 1985. (Yep, I’m a spreadsheet nerd. It’s true.)
A. KG: That same 1909 Barber dime.
Q. Okay in the same vein how long did it take you to find your first ring and what type of ring was it?
A. RINGY: Found my very first ring on only my second day of detecting! I am the Ringmaster! Hahahahaha. February 25, 1985. It was a plated Avon ring with a blue stone. Sadly, I can’t remember what I did with it, and I don’t think I have any pictures of it. If I find any, I’ll let you know.
A. KG: I believe my first ring was a toy.
Q. Did you spend a lot of time researching in the beginning and if so how did you go about it?
A. RINGY: Nope. Not n the beginning back in Iowa. Just knocked on my neighbor’s doors.
A. KG: Yes, we did tons of research, looked at old newspapers in the library, old books, and we talked to a lot of old-timers in our town.
Great find while detecting in Montana
Q. What would you consider to be your very best find after all this time, and if it’s hard to choose just one tell us about the others that fit that definition.
A. RINGY: I’ve got a handful of things that stunned me when I dug them up, including a CS Civil War buckle, a 900 BC Bronze Age axe head, a Papal seal from Pope Pius II, a 50 BC Celtic gold coin, and was lucky enough to be part of a hammered silver coin hoard. That being said, I can’t help but think that maybe the 1744 gold mourning ring is my favorite… I mean come on… it’s old, it’s gold, AND it’s a ring! You can see the history behind it in one of our episodes. (Ep 702: The Golden Ring at DIGGINTV.com).
Tim’s CW Buckle, bronze axe head (900 BC), papal seal and 50BC celtic coin
A. KG: I have two that are special to me. I found a $15,000 gold ring with massive diamonds, and while we were recording DIGGERS for NatGeo, I found a rare coin from Yemen that had never been recorded as being found on US soil before. The rare silver Saxon penny I just found last fall is pretty high up on the list too. (Ep. 701: Saxon Silver at DIGGINTV.com).
KG’s Diamond ring, Yemen coin and Saxon penny
Q. Okay guys, what is your “weirdest” find to date?
A. RINGY: I’m excited to answer this one for a change! KG has a great answer for this, and I always tell the story about his brother Bones digging up a coffee can of “riches”. (It really contained a cat skeleton.) KG’s answer is always that gold tooth he dug up at an old foundation in Montana, which is really cool. Could’ve been punched out of his face in a bar fight or something. CB also found a gold tooth in Australia on our last trip! It was in perfect condition, and made of 22K or 24K, as they are. I’m proud to announce that as of two days ago, I joined the gold tooth club!!! In a big way! I found a massive 4-tooth array of solid gold. Was soooo shiny there in the dirt. Shocker! Love it.
A. KG: Well, Ringy stole my thunder with the gold tooth, so I’ll go with a pin from the early 1900s that had a clown riding a pig on it. And of course there’s that guy from Iowa. LOL
Q. What is your “OLDEST” find to date?
A. RINGY: Probably that 900 BC Bronze Age axe head.
A. KG: A Roman coin from 150 BC.
Q. Next up? What is your “rarest” find?
A. RINGY: The 1744 gold mourning ring that was traced back to an individual from an historically significant family is unique. Can’t get any rarer than that!
1744 gold mourning ring
A. KG: The pewter round ball from the revolutionary war episode of DIGGERS. If it’s what the historians think it is, it’s pretty rare or maybe one of a kind. It’s still on display in a museum out east somewhere.
Pewter round ball
Q. I think I know the answer to this but what detector are you using at the moment and why?
A. RINGY: Garrett AT MAX with the 5×8 coil. Also, we are testing the new APEX prototypes at the moment for Garrett as well! They are looking pretty awesome.
The AT models are extremely versatile (Montana)
Q. Can you offer a few tips or settings for other users?
A. RINGY: Sure can. We have a complete subset of Quick Hitter videos that show how we set up our detectors:
A. KG: Go low and slow, and stay off all metal mode until you learn your machine.
Q. When you do go detecting what accessories do you take/use?
A. KG & RINGY: Garrett AT MAX (or APEX), wireless Z-Lynk Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, Team ATC’s NX-5 Shovel, a six-pack of miniature coconut donuts, gas station burritos, beef jerky, Coca-Cola, and toilet paper.
Q. Pretty sure you two have done it all, coin hunting, relic hunting, water hunting and prospecting. If you had to choose just one which would it be?
A. RINGY: Coin hunting. I love coins. … and rings. Coins and rings. That is the true nectar for me. That’s what I want to see appearing in the dirt. Really though, any kind of relic or piece of exonumia is thrilling. It’s all good.
A. KG: Relic Hunting.
A few of our finds….
Q. You surely have a bucket list. Care to share it?
A. RINGY: My big 3 or 4 right now all happen to be US coins: Seated Half, silver 3 cent piece (trime) , silver bust coin of any kind. A $20 gold piece would be nice as well.
A. KG: Celtic gold coin like the Ringmaster’s.
Q. Okay be honest now, have you ever sold any of your finds?
A. RINGY: Very rarely. I’m a hoarder. I traded away a couple of tokens I had duplicates of to get some other ones, and when I first started, I accidentally sold my first few silver coins with a huge batch of other silver coins I was selling, but I replaced them for my collection. They were nothing rare.
A. KG: Yes, a few of my old trade tokens.
Q. I know you two have traveled extensively and I’m curious do you have one place/country that you like more than the others?
A. RINGY: England is one of our favorite because of its reasonable laws and attempts to foster useful cooperation between detectorists, researchers, arkies and the government so that everybody wins when a find is made. Also, they have cold Carling beer on tap at the pub. Other countries should follow suit. No doubt about it. Australia is a blast! We love hunting there, because there’s the potential for massive gold at any moment, and they have funny looking deer with pockets in the front, and huge hind feet that can jump really high. USA is great too, of course, even though most of our finds are brand new in the big picture.
A. KG: Agree with Ringy about England because of the smart laws they have there.
Detectorworld (hard work but somebody has to do it)
Q. Do you belong to a club?
A. RINGY: I have belonged to several gold and detecting clubs over the years. Team ATC is our main club now, which is of course, semi-fictional. Team ATC was really created as a joke, so there are no real dues or requirements to join. If you want to be a member, you are a member. It’s more of a state of mind than anything else, but oddly, we ended up creating tons of gear including hats, shirts, etc. for people like us that just want to enjoy the unexpectedness and craziness of the sport. We’ve always had the mindset that the appreciation of history and a sense of humor are not mutually exclusive.
A. KG: I am a part of too many clubs to mention but my favorite is Team ATC.
Q. Pretty sure again I know the answer but what would your IDEAL detector look like?
A. RINGY: A mix of the APEX and the AT MAX.
A. KG: A waterproof mix of the APEX and the AT MAX and a ROBOT.
The Apex is a killer machine
Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to the beginning detectorist what would they be?
A. RINGY: Patience and Persistence.
A. KG: Take your time, trust your machine and stay off all metal mode until you learn your machine. Lots of research.
Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to the experienced detectorist what would they be?
A. RINGY: Stop detecting immediately and leave me something to find.
A. KG: Pass on the ethics of metal detecting to the newbies when you get the chance to help perfect our sport.
Thanks guys, appreciate you taking the time to do this and for making it fun….