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David Keith

David Keith - Dixie Metal Detectors
David Keith began metal detecting in the early 1980s after joining a Civil War re-enactment Regiment. His fascination with history has always been of keen interest to him especially prehistory and the American civil war.
His desire skyrocketed when he dug his first civil war bullet in a friends yard in Tennessee. He became an authorized metal detector dealer in 1985 and became one of Minelab's early dealers in 1992.
His initial experience with the original Sovereign yielded him 10 civil war belt buckles from a hospital site that was used as a Union hospital after the battle of Murfreesboro or Stone's River as it was called by the union. He had previously abandoned this site as "hunted out" due to many other detectorists searching the same ground over and over. It was then he realized how well Minelab’s technology performed in heavy iron trash and mineralized ground. Since that time David has inspired and helped thousands join the hobby.
He has written numerous articles for treasure magazines, served as moderator and administrator for a popular online treasure forum and won thousands of dollars worth of prizes in metal detecting competitions.
He has been the "go to man" for many looking for advice on which metal detector to buy, including first time owners and experienced detectorists alike. You'll find him each December at the Nashville Civil War Show and Sale.

Dixie Metal Detectors - Supplier of Minelab metal detectors

David’s Minelab dealership is called ‘Dixie Metal Detectors’ and you can visit his website at


Tips on cleaning Civil War relics

October 18, 2012 03:40pm

Far too many times I've seen great civil war finds over cleaned by a novice relic hunter. In a word, don’t! Less is best when it comes to cleaning and preserving relics. I recommend doing nothing until you gain experience on how to clean and care for your civil war finds. This could also apply to coins and stone artifacts, but in this article, I'll cover civil war relics.

Posted by David Keith on October 18, 2012 03:40pm | 2 Comments

Finding Civil War camps and other military sites - Part 2

September 30, 2011 04:50pm

If you dislike hunting in the intense heat of the summer, or extreme cold of the winter, use this time to visit your local library or archives. A wealth of information just might be at your fingertips. Ask your Librarian if they know of any civil war diaries the library owns or published books from civil war soldiers diaries. This can be a goldmine of information. Also, ask about...

Posted by David Keith on September 30, 2011 04:50pm | 0 Comments

Finding Civil War camps and other military sites - Part 1

July 08, 2011 09:54am

Finding civil war camps and sites is the only reason I picked up my first metal detector. Digging old coins, artifacts and treasure is cool, but as a child, my favorite toys were the Marx set of civil war soldiers. I spent thousands of hours setting them up and playing with them. It was in the 1980s that I became a civil war reenactor. My first event found me staring at a frame full of relics and from that day I became obsessed with...

Posted by David Keith on July 08, 2011 09:54am | 3 Comments

Finding Civil War military camps: Getting permission

March 16, 2011 03:28pm

Finding Civil War military camps from ages past requires a number of things. Among those are firstly, research, which includes books, diaries, maps and time. Secondly, you'll need permission to access land where you feel a camp or camps may be located. Third, equipment! A good metal detector that can handle multiple soil conditions, navigate ferrous trash with good discrimination, and go deep. We can break these three categories into separate discussions, so I'll start with getting permission, something that is paramount to legal metal detecting.

Posted by David Keith on March 16, 2011 03:28pm | 8 Comments

I found a Civil War relic; what's it worth?

December 10, 2010 03:37pm

To be honest, any collectible item is only worth what another person or entity will pay. Price guides are very useful, especially for the beginning collector, but current market value, current "hot" item craze, buyer or sellers market and the economy (let's not forget sometimes local, State or Federal laws concerning the sale of antiquities) will define what a certain relic will bring.

A good starting point for American Civil War relics would be the North/South Traders Civil War price guide. These are updated about every 2-3 years and offer the collector a very broad range of Civil War collectibles including non dug items such as photo's, paper money, flags and more. Another good reference would be...

Posted by David Keith on December 10, 2010 03:37pm | 0 Comments
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