Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on Silver Bargain Hunting.


Precious Metals (Silver Bargain Hunting):

If you are persistent, you can find some silver at bargain prices.  In my experience, the best places to go silver bargain hunting are:

1.) Garage and estate sales. Once in a while you will be more knowledgeable than the seller about the current value of silver or of particular coins.

2.) Gun shows. Look for a table where most of the merchandise is guns, but where there are a few silver coins in their display case, along with the seller’s pistols.  Often, if you have a gun to trade, you can swap it at a favorable rate, for silver, with such a dealer. Or the dealer might be looking to cash out his silver. Employ the classic: “And what’s my price if I buy it all?” gambit.

3.) Bank teller drawers. Ask at your local bank teller if they have any rolls of half dollars. You can find a surprising number of 40% silver half dollars available at face value. (50 cents per coin.) Coin Roll Hunting is time consuming, but usually worth the effort. I once had a kind teller sell me a U.S. Silver Eagle for $1. (Even though they are .999 silver they are still legal tender and marked “One Dollar.” So once in a while someone will deposit one without realizing their full value.) I don’t expect that to ever happen again!

4.) Pawn shops. Bring cash, and go chat up your local pawn broker. Start looking at his or her selection of 1 ounce .999 silver trade dollars. Many times, I’ve been able to buy silver at or near spot.  One good bargaining technique is to ask: “If I buy all of these rolls, including this roll of U.S. Mint Silver Eagles, can I have them all at the same price?”

5.) Coinstar machines. Check the reject bin each time you walk by a Coinstar machine. And be sure to get to know the store clerk who in charge of their Coinstar machine’s regular maintenance. Often times, they will have small bags of reject coins available for sale at face value. Many of these will be foreign coins or bent coins. But there will probably be some silver coins, to make it more than worthwhile!



Major stock averages decline for second straight day


Will 2018 be the year of national cryptocurrencies?

Economy & Finance:

At The WSJ: Growing Concern: Foreign Investors Lose Some Hunger for U.S. Debt. (Thanks to Gregg P. for the link.)

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Banks, Card Companies Explore Ways to Monitor Gun Purchases



The Top Natural Gas Players In 2018


More on the sliding US Dollar at the BNC web site: Protectionism and currencies

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But there is some hope for the U.S. Dollar, with interests rates rising: Dollar goes positive for year, iPhone answers calling. JWR’s Comments: Watch the U.S. Dollar Index closely. If it fails to hold over 90 by the end of June, there could be trouble for the U.S. Dollar ahead.


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. My wife worked at a grocery store with a coinstar machine. She helped the lady who emptied the machine and my wife sorted out the silver, replacing it with the worthless modern coins. She explained to her why and they split the silver. My wife thought she would be helping her next time, nope. She refused any help as she wanted to keep the silver for herself.

  2. Re: Banks/Cards monitoring purchases. This just illustrates how governments could benefit from cashless money systems. Old fashion “gun registration” is not necessary when they can obtain the financial records revealing who purchased guns, bullets, knives, baseball bats, “subversive” literature, or anything deemed threatening. Any oppressive government could then come to the purchaser and demand the item or demand to know what was done with it. Prohibiting the use of cards or digital accounts for certain products would likely drive the trade under ground; better to have an accessible record of purchases, preferable without the public knowing. Alternately the public might be convinced the coding system is not as revealing as feared or the information is only for some commercial non-governmental use. So as always, “nothing to worry about”— “nothing to see here”— just “move on”.

  3. Never buy the “controversial” stuff with a bank card, credit card, or check. If you must use credit or bank cards, get cash, and then buy what you want. I’ve been to pawn shops, lots of them, they are no bargain for silver, but at least they have some. Building up my silver supply has left me curiously more independent. Once the Octopus is done reaching into every ones purchase record, silver will enable me to conduct business sans govt. reach and observation. And not just buying the “controversial” stuff. I’m seeing strong tendencies at the gun and other expo shows to deal in silver. There is already a lively black market here in Texas, and you get searched before dealing. Carry a phone, good bye.

  4. @Sean: I’m not clear on your last sentence, care to expand on it? The people running the black market search you? What exactly are they looking for? Why would you consent to being searched? Are people actually waking up to the threat of cell phones, and refusing to do business around them?

  5. I’ve purchased silver from a few different coin & jewellery shops. Never had one refuse cash or require identification when buying with cash. One shop I know will not sell coins for anything but cash.

  6. I have found this from the US mint

    From 2016 (37 million american eagles minted for bullion by the US mint) to 2017 ( 18 million) is 52% drop.
    From first quarter of 2017 (7.957 million) to 1st quarter of 2018 (5.096 million) which is 35.9%

    The trillion dollar question;
    If the US mint sales are down 52% then another 35.9%, doesn’t it appear people have enough silver maples and eagles already.
    So who is left to push up the prices?

    The US mint is one of the largest in the world

    So why is pure silver Eagles not more than $16 and change?

    And what is more valuable a 40% silver coin you might find or a pure 100% silver in Maples or Eagles?

  7. Hunting silver at banks does pay off. I’ve found hundredes of silver coins usually just sitting in rolls in bank teller drawers that they are more than happy to get rid of. Sometimes I find nothing, but other times I’ve found dumped collections in a couple of rolls.

    Checking coinstars….that’s rare to find anything good, but just takes a quick glance when you’re at the store so little time wasted. I once found a 1918 Canadian silver quarter there. Looked it up and it’s 80% silver, but even in it’s worn condition is worth a few dollars more to a collector.

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