Regarding the letter “Letter Re: Greenspan, Gold, and the Safe Store of Value” I can assure you that gold is just as valuable before, during and after a crisis.
Gold has always been valuable, its safe to say that it always will be, it’s our alma mater currency, since the beginnings of mankind.
Unless you are stranded on an island, or in a plane wreck in the middle of the Andes, gold is always a cherished form of currency, and no one is going to trade you an ounce of gold for a piece of bread. Generally speaking people are smart enough to sell the gold [for the currency of the day] and buy as much bread as they can.
[In Argentina], we’ve seen [gold’s] value increasing even more on the jewelry gold market, something most survivalists considered practically useless. It got to a point where wearing gold jewelry is an invitation to getting robbed or the chains snatched from your neck. Most people, especially women, don’t wear gold any more, specially on public transportation. Because of this, there’s an entire silver jewelry industry flourishing. Women simply prefer silver because it’s cheaper and you can wear it somewhat safely, unlike gold. There’s an entire market for buying and selling jewelry gold, and that’s what you come by on the shanty towns and poorest neighborhoods.
As you explain, gold works as a time machine, preserving your values in spite of what’s going on.
Even in prisons, gold is still gold, and no one is going to trade you a gold chain or Crucifix for a couple of smokes, unless you are paying a fair amount of merchandize in exchange for the gold. It’s easy enough to find someone that will sell your gold on the outside (for a percentage, of course).
People that think that cigars are more valuable than gold have never been to a prison, and television is not a reliable source of information.
While I never saw anyone buying anything with ammo, I’ve seen people go to the “I buy gold” stand in markets, selling their gold (either [legitimately] owned by them or stolen recently) and go shopping into the market with their money. The only thing worth it’s weight in gold… is gold. – FerFAL in Argentina