Monday, March 29, 2010
What Kind of Gold/Silver Should I Buy?
The first thing I want to say is that everyone should have some gold or silver stacked away for the future. Any kind of gold or silver will give you an enormous advantage over the 98% of US citizens that have only paper assets (and no stockpiled survival food/water supplies as well). So, if you own any gold or silver, GOOD FOR YOU! You get the Prepper Seal of Approval! You're light years ahead of the average sheeple who is still blindly plugged into The Matrix. My guess is you're probably the type of person who is reading this blog anyway.
The question asked in the title of this article relates only to the conflict between the Preppers (the intellectual chosen people) as to what types or forms of precious metals are best to have for the uncertain future. We know we need gold and silver, we just want to know whether we should buy Numismatic Collectable Coins, Junk Silver, Silver & Gold Eagles, Foreign Coins, or Rounds and Bars. My infuriatingly simple answer is, IT DEPENDS!
I believe the issue can be broken down into two basic questions:
1. Do you want gold & silver for investment purposes, inflationary and hyperinflationary hedges, or later stage SHTF situations? Unfortunately for the Prepper community, all sizes (and forms of precious metals) do NOT fit all situations.
2. If you want gold & silver for an improving SHTF scenario, which form of precious metals will be most acceptable and therefore more valuable? I believe this questions hinges on the depth and breadth of the evolving knowledge of the newly unplugged Matrix denizens.
In Inflationary periods any of the above gold and silver forms will grant you a defense against the decaying buying power during inflation. Hyperinflationary periods are similarly accepting of all forms of gold and silver, with the only exception being the fact that numismatic coins and values just don't do as well. Coin collecting is a hobby of the rich and the happy middle classes. Hyperinflation makes these classes very unhappy as their wealth evaporates. During this painful period coin collecting is strictly relegated to a low priority, therefore numismatic premiums above precious metal content will suffer.
Bottom Line? During inflation and hyperinflation eBay and coin shops will still exist. You'll be able to exchange your silver and gold in virtually any form fairly easily for currency. You'll also keep up with buying power (or even advance) while paper folks are running around with wheelbarrows overflowing with green fiat paper!
Summary: Inflation - junk silver, gold & silver numismatically valued coins (preferably US - its just easier), Silver & Gold American Eagles, rounds, bars, your grammas silverware, etc. are all good. In Hyperinflation its all good as well, with the exception of numismatic coins.
The next scenario is where things get tough and contentious. SHTF (..it hits the fan) is what most survivalists are referring to when they mention prepping. Society, law and order, and the economy have collapsed. People are starving and perishing for lack of food, water, fuel, medicines etc. So what form of gold and silver are the best in the early stages of collapse? Answer - NONE! People need food and clean water in these initial stages, and they need to defend themselves from marauders. Shiny metals won't supply any of these very basic needs. Preppers who have these INVALUABLE resources will not trade you these necessities for any form of your gold and silver. And the 98% of the population who were completely unprepared for the complete collapse of the world order don't even have enough food for themselves, much less a surplus they can afford to trade away for your junk silver or gold eagles.
Only in the later rebuilding stages of the SHTF situation will gold and silver come into play once more. The question of knowledge of value becomes relevant again as well. Law and order exists once more, at least in the small towns. Economic recovery has begun, and commodity and useful item bartering is a common activity within a 20 mile radius of the newly ordered towns. However, hauling around produce all day to trade to a neighbor for clothing, canned peaches etc., is becoming tiresome. People start waking up to the fact that gold and silver still exist, and can be used once again for trading purposes. So what silver or gold is best to dig out of your stockpile?
I believe the most familiar form of precious metal will be the preferred choice, old 90% silver pre-1965 junk dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars (war nickels and non-1964 Kennedy halves not included*) will be most useful and readily accepted. Why? Because many people remember that they were once used as currency, and carry the stamp of the old US, the importance of which hasn't totally evaporated yet. Next would come Silver and Gold Eagles. These coins carry a premium due to the stamp on the coin as legal tender with silver content of the Old US. However, people will still need to be educated about just what exactly they are. Most US citizens today do NOT own Eagles, and are not even aware of their existence! They'll be harder to trade at first than the more common junk silver. Lastly, comes the precious metal rounds and bars. Yes, I know they have the same amount of silver as the Eagles, but just who the hell is Sunshine Minting and Johnson Matthey? That's what you're going to have to explain to extremely skeptical (non survival prep) trading partners!
I believe there will still be enough trust in the reputation of the Old US to make US minted coins, 90% junk silver and Eagles, acceptable fairly quickly during the SHTF recovery period. But the privately minted rounds and bars will not have that stamp of approval to rely upon. People will remember that private companies could and did cheat their customers, and that tungsten filled-gold bars did exist. Indeed, even the notion of a private currency will be a hard sell to a NON-PREPPER! Remember, everyone alive today thinks that printing your own money up is called COUNTERFEITING, and is BAD! As a result, I firmly believe that junk silver and ASE's and GSE's are the best ways to go. Believe me, you won't care about the small extra premiums you had to pay during this period of time for the Eagles over comparable rounds. Of course, keep in mind I'm not saying your rounds will be worthless (perish the thought), just a lot more of a pain to move than their US minted alternatives.
Summary: SHTF Recovery Mode - Junk Silver and Gold & Silver Eagles are the only way to fly!
*Note above on 1942-1945 35% silver war nickels and the 40% silver 1965-1970 Kennedy halves. Remember, with non-prepper trading partners you need to keep things simple. They'll understand eventually that all pre-1965 dimes, quarters, halves, and dollars are 90% silver. But please, do not find yourself having to explain these two freaks to non-preppers and non-coin collectors! Yes, I know pound for pound they're cheaper than the 90% coins. My reply? They should be! And please, don't get me started on those so-ugly-even-a-mother-couldn't-love 35% silver "war nickels". I mean, they don't even look like a silver coin! And don't forget to explain to your perplexed trading partners that some of the 1942 nickels weren't made from silver, so you have to look for the big mint mark on the back. Can you say i before e except after c, and sometimes y and w?!Please, give me a break! Refiners like the reputable Midwest Refinery scorn these two silver coins as unacceptable for melting now, and I don't believe anyone else will really want them in the future. Personally, if you have these two turds I recommend you sell them NOW on ebay and buy 90% junk silver ASAP!
Additional Note: I didn't really get into foreign coinage at all. I know there are a lot of stunning Pandas, Kooks, Krugs etc., out there. But notice I didn't even attempt to spell the last two coin names for a very crucial reason. Americans just aren't very knowledgeable about foreign coins and grams and such. We want ounces, and English only please! So, avoid these coins for SHTF instances unless your just a collector who has extra money to play with.
Time is running out fast! Hyperinflation seems unavoidable as fiat paper money is being printed as fast as the US presses can run. To protect your wealth and your family, buy gold and silver now from these top companies (below):
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