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Treasure Hunter, Carlotta Brandenburg Interview

DDM – Before meeting Tim, did you have any interest in the metal detecting hobby?

Carlotta – Yes, I started gold prospecting in my early thirties, long before I knew Tim existed.  I had gold fever.  There was a small gold prospecting club in Northern California that I joined, and I learned to pan and sluice and bought my first metal detector.  With my first detector, I found seven nuggets in Arizona in desert washes.   Six or seven years ago, one of the gold prospecting clubs introduced me to Tim, and little did I know what trouble that would bring.   After meeting Tim, I started focusing more on coins and relics, which opened up a whole new appreciation for history, both in the US and around the world.  I’ve always been a treasure hunter in one form or another. Did a lot of gem and fossil hunting in the past too.  I hunted sun stones in Oregon for my 40th birthday.

DDM –  Now that you have your dive certification are there any plans for underwater treasure hunting?

Carlotta -Yes.  We’ve done some underwater treasure hunting in Hawaii and in Cozumel, Mexico, as well as in a few local lakes.  On one occasion in the Gulf of California, I found a coin on one of my dives without a detector!  Surface find 60 feet underwater!  I would love to be able to hunt some underwater wrecks someday.

DDM – Tell us about your first experience metal detecting.

Carlotta – The first one I remember was in California years ago, with a group of local prospectors.  We went to the local Civic Center just to detect the lawn there, and the guy in charge of the hunt pulled up a half-carat diamond solitaire ring!  Also, I remember finding my first gold nugget while detecting up a wash in the desert in Arizona.  It was an amazing feeling, knowing no other human had touched that piece of precious metal.  It came out of the ground like a dusty little rock, but it shined right up after wiping the dirt off.  It was great hiking around out there in the quiet isolation of the desert with that little bit of gold in my pocket.

DDM – On camera, Tim and George are quite the characters…what part do you play in their on screen antics?

Carlotta – None!  I try desperately to control the chaos off camera, but with little success.   I’ve had people ask me if Tim is really like that in real life, and unfortunately, yes, he is.  It’s like living with a little kid that’s eaten the entire bucket of Halloween candy.  Actually, he is really a lot of fun and we have had lots of fun adventures all over the world.

DDM – Of everything, what has been your favorite find?

Carlotta – I don’t know that I have a favorite find.  They are all unique and have their own little story and history.  For example, I had the privilege of detecting a Civil War site with the Garrett Team one year, and found an eagle button that made me think about the soldier that was wearing it and how he might have lost it, and how scared he must have been.  Did he make it home from the battlefield that day?  It’s a lot like the saying “You’ll never be forgotten as long as someone reads your tombstone”.  While I didn’t have a name to go along with the button, he’s still remembered because of that dig.   Another of my favorites, is a Roman hairpin I found in England.  Just a small object in someone’s life, but what must have it been like 2000 years ago in that place?    

DDM – Anything on your “bucket list ” in regards to metal detecting?

Carlotta – I don’t really have a bucket list like most people.  I want to find it all!  Every coin.  Every piece of jewelry.  Every little bit of history.  There’s so much out there to find.   I did see an awesome blob top bottle on line the other day that I would love to have found.

DDM – Tell us about your dream destination…for metal detecting or just for a visit.

Carlotta – I would love to go to Scotland, for a regular visit as well as detecting.  I’ve never been there before.  We are heading back to Australia later this year if travel is opened up by then, which has been a wonderful place to visit and detect.  I love the fact that their history was so similar to ours in the way the gold rush and industrial development took place, and the timing of it too.  I found a handful of silver kangaroo last time I was there and a gold tooth!

DDM – We have seen that you have recently started watercolor painting. What other hobbies do you enjoy?

Carlotta – Quilting, thrift store treasure hunting, travel, and of course Sphynx cats!  I love my naked boy. (Not talking about Tim).

DDM –  Tell us about your favorite historical time period.

Carlotta – If we are talking about clothes, give me a 1950s vintage cocktail dress any day.  If we are talking about historical treasure, I can’t really choose.  I like all of it!  It’s all fascinating, from ancient stone arrowheads, to modern silver and gold.  All of it has a story, and each piece captures a moment in time.

DDM – Please give us one piece of advice you would offer someone new to the metal detecting community.

Carlotta – It not always easy finding stuff, so enjoy the whole process.  Enjoy the whole adventure.  The weather, the friends, the sun, flowers, birds, etc…  Everyone loves digging up treasure, but more importantly, did you enjoy the day?   The pieces of treasure are a bonus to being outside and having fun with your friends.


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