Letter Re: Saving Clad Dimes and Quarters?

I have accumulated ‘some’ pre-1965 silver. Not the $1,000 face value per family member as seems to be the benchmark but I do have a bit over $1,400 face value and a few gold coins (about two ounces of gold, in combined weight) for my family.

Someone told me that even post-1964 dimes and quarters (and of course pennies and nickels for their real metal value) would have ‘some’ value if the dollar went bust. I do not understand how this can be but I have been saving coins nonetheless.

My question is am I better to take the ‘too heavy to lift’ jar of quarters and dimes I have and buy more pre-1965 junk silver or more food with it rather then hold it hoping it will have value ‘after the fall’ ?
I have no problem holding it as is if that is ‘smart’ in regards to my total survival package. Thanks, – PW

JWR Replies: Depending on the situation the “value” of coins may someday be a matter of their base metal content, but they also have face value. A post-1964 US dime or quarter is a pitiful joke, because it is just a silver-plated copper slug. You are much better off with nickels, or pre-1982 pennies, in terms of face value versus base metal value. See www.coinflation.com for details.

Imagine a future currency reform. Say that inflation sets in and eventually a zero is lopped off the currency. So new paper Federal Reserve notes are issued, and the old notes are recalled for a 10-for-1 exchange. Typically, when such currency transitions occur, the old coins would still circulate at face value, So you’d have an overnight 10X windfall on all coins in your possession, based on their retained face value. (Paper money is relatively easy for a government to switch, but coinage is not!)

My advice os cash in your copper dimes and quarters, and replace them with pre-’65 silver, or perhaps nickels (of any mint date) if you have the storage space. This way you’ll have both a tangible hedge on inflation, and some insurance in the event of a currency re-issue.