Sourced from Geronimo country Rybar’s Prospector dagger and bolo combo prove pure gold.
The Prospector by Ray Rybar is a push dagger/bolo combo that bespeaks not only his talent as an ABS master smith but also the array of beautiful, valuable ore in and around his home in Camp Verde, Arizona.
Ray lives in the middle of an Apache reservation where he owns three or four gold mine claims. Camp Verde was the headquarters of U.S. Army Gen. George Crook during the Army’s pursuit and eventual defeat of Geronimo and his Chiricahua Apache band in 1886. Navajos live in the area as well.
Ray teaches various forging and other classes. On occasion he takes his students out to forage for blade and other materials in and around his claims. There they find not only gold every so often but also iron/nickel meteorite, samples of Fe3 and Fe4 iron, ore that can be developed into copper, silver and more. He teaches his students how to convert the iron ore into high-carbon steel. He saves up the leftover steel forged by his students and also rocks he finds and slices with a slab saw for his knives and sheaths. The results can be spectacular—of which The Prospector is a most representative example.
Knife name: The Prospector
Maker: ABS master smith Ray Rybar
Knife type: Push dagger/bolo
Blade length: 4”
Blade material: Damascus forged from iron ore converted to high carbon steel and also iron/nickel meteorite
Handle: Ancient walrus ivory w/silver pins and backing
Handle inlay: Prospector is solid silver and his tray contains real gold nuggets
Sheath: Silver front and back and ebony center w/silver pins; decorated with various marks/designs made with stamps Ray cut from carbon steel and based on those used by the local Apaches and Navajos
Sheath inlay: Rock containing quartz, feldspar and a stringer of gold
Bolo strap: Leather weaved by a local Apache
Maker’s price for a similar push dagger/bolo: $6,500
Check Out More Cool Custom Knives:
- Jim Poor’s Slip Joint
- Andrew Meers’ Pizza Cutter
- Kurt Swearingen’s Buffalo Hunter Set
- Isaiah Schroeder’s Gyuto
Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.
Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.