Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gold or Silver for Survival Trading?

A financial disaster (severe hyperinflation, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, or a complete US dollar collapse) has occurred. Things are finally improving, and law and order is restored to your area. People and businesses are buying and selling again. Some people are using barter, but carrying around a basket of tomatoes while looking for someone with eggs is tiring to say the least. What type of gold or silver would be best to have on hand at this point to make commerce easier?

Let's review junk silver (pre-1965 US coins), American Silver Eagles (ASE's), and Gold coins and their utility in a post-economic disaster trading environment. Junk silver coins like dimes, quarters, and halves can be thought of as singles, fives, and ten dollar bills respectively. An ASE is like a twenty and a ten dollar bill. A gold ounce coin is like a thousand dollar bill.

I believe junk silver coins and ASE's will have the most utility in trading due to their lower value. When you buy food and gas today you usually use lower denomination bills because it's easy for the business you're patronizing to make change. Imagine the look on a convenience store clerk's face if you paid for your twenty dollar purchase with a thousand dollar bill! Chances are he'd turn you away because he couldn't make change. I imagine the same thing would happen after a dollar collapse as well. If you're dead set on having some gold coins, then purchase the one-tenth of an ounce US gold coins. They demand a higher premium than one ounce coins, but at least they're more like a hundred dollar bill - large, but not too big to make change.

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  1. How/where would one sell their silver after a economic collapse? If selling wasn't necessary or unavailable, what would prompt someone that has a item that I need to live that I want (like food or water) to accept my silver or gold as barter? Just because it is a precious metal and has intrinsic value? After a collapse, would that even matter? I'm not disagreeing, I'm just trying to understand.

  2. Thanks for your comment! The best course of action is to have food/water/medicine/self defense equipment as your first line of defense. During the recovery period economic activity will begin to improve and goods will become available for purchase. History tells us that gold and silver will be invaluable at this point as barter is inefficient at best. Ex: I want your eggs which are fresh today, and you want my corn - which requires another 4 weeks to ripen. Gold and silver has always been of value for the last 6000 years of human history whenever economic activity rises above hunter/gatherer levels.