Thoughts About Gold, by Todd from Florida

This is going to be a different type of article. Different in that this gedankenexperiment will undoubtedly provoke many readers who will want to disagree with me- and that is fine!  In fact, that is sort of what I am wanting. I am looking for others to explain to me what I am missing, and therefore make me a more informed, prepared, and hopefully secure individual.

This article you are reading is going to be about gold. Specifically, how I just cannot agree with all the hype (my word choice perhaps not the best) and advertisements you hear on the radio and Internet, even television pitches from people like Alex Trebek or Pat Boone.  Go to a search engine and type in “prepper gold” and see over 1,020,000 results.  Over the last few years, I have come to really enjoy SurvivalBlog site and definitively respect the opinions of its founder, Mr., James Wesley, Rawles. I think that some articles ore references in the past at least are going to be in contradiction to the points I am going to lay out here.   I have many of the books the site founder has written, and totally respect all of the situations outlined in those books and this website.   Except, there is still this ongoing struggle that the whole ‘buy gold’ thing is just not the best idea for the average prepper. Maybe as an investment strategy just like a mutual fund or something, but even that has some concerns. Here are some extracts from some gold broker websites. I do not want to link to any specific sites as not trying to promote one over the other:

Precious metals, and especially gold and silver, have done an amazing job at retaining their value over the years. “Generation after generation, irrespective of which politicians are in power at the moment, gold and silver have proven themselves as stable stores of value and the ultimate form of money”….and…”Physical investment grade god can be purchases at spot price, Physical gold can be liquidated in the unlikely event of a total economic collapse”.

So SurvivalBlog community – read on and see if you agree with me, or have some counterpoints that will help me. I expect some good feedback and want it – like said before I just need to get some questions figured out.

It is important to stress that I am not opposing precious metals as an investment strategy, like any other stock or mutual fund. After all, I note that in 2008 the price of gold was as low as $720 an ounce, and went to $1854.40 an ounce in 2011. The price of gold as of the time of writing this is $1512.45 an ounce.

This is the mindset that I do not like – that when the world really goes dark then all money will be worthless, and by golly if you don’t have gold you are done for.   My thought is primarily that if all you have is a ledger somewhere without your hands actually on the precious metals, when that event happens do not expect, ever, to have your investment back. One strange concept I have seen is buying gold focused exchange traded funds (ETFs) or future contracts to buy gold at a future time, at a predetermined price. These are traded on an exchange and the buyer never has claim to the physical gold itself. This would not be for me.

Now, let me say I agree with James’s thoughts on tangibles. My situation is that I never have had enough money to properly look at where I want to be.   I live in Jacksonville, Florida, so many years ago sitting in my home riding out a hurricane, had the revelation of “what if”? I was totally unprepared for anything really bad to go down, no way to care for my family.   That night began my sort of casual quest for what we call “preparedness”.   After three international adoptions, raising the kids, then college tuitions, then a wedding…I am just now starting to see the proverbial light in the tunnel with respect to having any sort of extra income to really make a factor in improving my “preparedness”. All the while, tangibles has really made sense.

Now if the world situation gets bad, I mean really bad, FEMA Camp for the everyone type bad, then I am going to look at the actual things I can hold in my hands that is going to be useful. Example, I have some food rotating, (not much maybe two month for the family if stretched) and some basic stuff: radios, water filter, flashlights, Baofeng handi-talkies, Goal Zero items, candles, batteries, full ammo can etc.   I want to be able to invest my little resources into things I can immediately use when again, it gets bad and really bad. This year in 2020 I am attempting to get much better at gardening and have spent some of those precious few dollars in garden stakes and fencing for the backyard and half dozen blueberry bushes, some lumber for raised garden beds that sort of thing.

I cannot imagine ever getting to the point where my tangible list is satisfied to the point where I will want to invest in gold. Here is an extreme example I thought of one day, if things get totally off the chain here in the USA and we become a target for invasion or large criminal militia, and the call for the muster is made to rally to a point to counter offensive, I do not want to be there with my simple Ruger 9mm and be wishing “Boy I wish that I had spent that one thousand on some sort of battle rifle instead of it sitting in some ledger account at some gold broker that I will never see.”

So this brings me to the whole gold investment thing.   Let’s break it down into maybe 3 different levels of investment so I can be clear, as different people are going to have different abilities.

One. Thousand dollars or less. My previous paragraphs sort of address this.   I would rather purchase things I can use immediately when it gets bad.   Again, not thinking of investments that can act like a day trader, sell when price is right; but the concept we all see in books online. As example, if the USA is down and out, and all you can depend on is what you own.

Two. Five Thousand dollar or less. In this scenario the world has become unhinged for take your pick of whatever disaster scenario.   I myself think we would be impacted by a successive wave of one thing causing big disruption, which is causing other stresses downstream.   Like New Madrid coming apart, causing grid problems, causing transportation problems, causing severe economic problems, thus causing a crazy 3rd world leader to think now is the time to deal with their enemy USA etc… I know this is to exaggerate to a great extent, but in the world of let’s pretend say we have actually in our hands a bunch of gold/silver coins. How is that going to help me?

I cannot likely just go down to the local Dollar Store, if anything is even still there, and expect them to know what value my coins are. I cannot expect to go to the farmer’s market that may fortunately spring up in the community and expect them to what, make change? I am not too convinced that many people are going to be ready to trade for the gold/silver I may possess. Maybe people will correct me with what has happened other places in the world in similar situations, I hope so and want to learn from the best – you SurvivalBlog readers. Who is going set an exchange rate? I am struggling to see how holding a lot of coins are going to be better than those “tangibles”.

Three. Anything about five thousand dollars. Let’s assume you have been able to stock a great extent of supplies and provisions and also have a lot of precious metals.   I was thinking in this scenario, we would assume that after a really bad period that some point of trading post or something is going to be established. I cannot imagine a bank being open in this extreme scenario. Let’s even go further and assume that we know of a specific place that is set up to make the trade for gold to whatever. You know this place and everybody else also knows about this place. Your challenge is going to be how can you get there safely and depart with whatever was traded for. I think of all those old western television shows where the old grizzled miner heads to the surveyor office and is ambushed by the guys in the black hats. Every criminal in a mile radius is going to be looking at whoever is coming up the road. Just my thought…I am not prepared to make that kind of trip. What kind of safety and backup arrangements must be made to travel with that kind of valuables? Are you following me back to my home/farm/camp etc.?

If I had a trunk full of gold bars, I would be so scared about how to get there. Then when I looked at a few web sites realized I would never be able to afford a single gold bar…one coin itself can go for over one thousand dollars.   So the overall concern is that in many instances, even if I did have the actual gold in hand, is it realistic to be of value for trade? Then I begin to think that after the event, maybe (years) later some form of standard must exist to begin to establish a meaningful currency backed by something ‘tangible’. Maybe it would be good for that scenario. So please readers, help me make sense of why so many people promote holding gold as a tenet of preparedness.


  1. I’ve never been in a SHTF scenario but I have been in one of the closest places. I was a safari guide in Zambia in 1988-1989. Africa is, of course, notoriously unstable in places and fraught with corruption in most. HIV/AIDS was ripping through the continent and add to the instability. Currencies are sometimes instantly worthless. We bartered food (bush meat), traded gasoline and medicine and used to primary currencies US $100 bill (has to be new, crisp, dated that year) and gold coins (mostly Krugerranda but some Credit Suisse 1oz bars). During this time gold was at $400 an oz +\- $10 for almost two years steady. We bought and sold lots of stuff with gold. Almost everyone carried a little balance scale with another coin to compare weight or 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 oz weights for transactions. You cut the coins with diagonal cutters to make smaller values. If there was a question of cheating, both sides would compare scales/weights. Everyone also carried a small magnet (quick check for fake gold) and a small touchstone and a tiny bottle of the correct strength acid (aqua regia) for testing. These test take less than 40 seconds to spot fake gold. Never had a sketchy transaction but we were always armed, in numbers sufficient to defend and dealt with people we had history with. Your mileage may vary. For me and mine I have covered food/water/firearms/ammunition/medicine/tools/shelter/comfort/etc. But I concurrently bought gold and silver coins/bars and acquired a second set of balance, weights, touchstone and acid.

  2. I have been acquiring gold and silver for many years. I have the equivalent of a year household income. It’s not something you do in a day. Nor is building a stock portfolio ,paying for a house, or any other major purchase. You seem to be looking at the price of a stash of gold as a one time purchase. I don’t know anyone who can afford to buy a significant gold hoard in a day. Do I know people who can buy my pile today? Sure! but, that amount doesn’t represent a year of their income.
    The cost of insurance is relative to what you are trying to insure.
    Your problem with gold is that you probably don’t have the time to acquire a year of your salary in gold. It would probably take decades. It did for me and our economic system will probably suffer some collapse before then. I am assume you are closer to retirement age and buying a Ducat a month won’t get you there in a reasonable amount of time.

  3. All good points/questions! One should always be wary when ANYONE wants to make a buck off of one’s preparedness. An aspect I love about this blog is that the vast majority of the vendors are vetted and are legit; it’s still up to you to decide where to put your money.

    Looking at the recent history, you don’t see gold and silver (PMs) pop up in the mainstream survival/prepper fiction of the Cold War all that much (Alas, Babylon; Farnham’s Freehold; Twilight World; etc). The assumption there was always, “Things will be so destroyed that a money-based economy simply won’t exist for a very long time.” Those that have read Stephen King’s “The Stand” will recall how the pursuit of gold bars near the end of the book was a fool’s errand. Indeed, most of the time it (seeking PMs) is depicted as a goal of the greedy antagonist while the good guys barter and share as needed.

    Now that a political and/or economic crisis seems far more likely, it makes a lot more sense to have PMs. Fiction has reflected this. Also, there are quite a number of stories from the 20th century of people/families that would not have escaped communism, fascism, or autocracy without PMs. In these instances, all the great property and equipment they may have had was useless.

    In short, PMs have a relatively narrow use when laid against all survival scenarios, but they definitely have their place and shouldn’t be ignored.

    1. My personal preps are aimed at a slow decline where in the state off affairs just kinda grinds along only more and more uncomfortable for me.

      The cost is going up. The population is going up the supply is going down. I means already people are ok with the idea of meatless hamburgers (even White castle sells them).

      Laws ,nanny states, political correctness etc getting worse.

      The internet of things mass surveillance big data.

      I’m looking to make my way of life able to be sustained by me. I work an industry that allows me to make a lil higher than cost of living but I will need to retire eventually.

      And in retirement who will care for me? The tide pod generation. The condom challenge generation. S.m.h.

      So buying things now like long guns and shotguns is good (they are gonna get much harder to purchase) and not just buying but growing my food as much as possible (if I got my veggies I have more money for meat). Buying gold and silver and bit coin (I should have bought them 500 to 1000 coins when they were affordable) to store portions of my future income in. Will pay off latter by offsetting costs providing food letting me live alone etc.

  4. Excellent article and good thinking. First food, water and shelter and a way to protect what you have. Gold isn’t meant for use as money as the denomination’s are too high to make purchase’s with but would be useful later after thing’s are rebuilt as a wealth protector. I would suggest scrap silver, pre 64 us coins for trading and purchases or a stockpile of popular caliber ammo or good liquor or even cigarettes for trading.

    1. JohnnyReb, the allure of Gold (wealth) is part of human nature. Here’s a blurb about >Apache Gold Casino.

      “With plenty of entertainment, promotions, and booking options, Apache Gold Casino is the hottest casino located 5 minutes east of Globe, Arizona. Our resort and casino reside just a short drive from the city of Phoenix letting you kick back with great food and fun; all while admiring sweeping views of the high desert mountains.”

      Endless Games
      Prepare for non-stop, adrenaline-pumping games on our casino floor. We are always updating our slots and adding the newest titles, so there is sure to be a theme for everyone.

      The fun does not stop when you are done spinning. We have plenty of table games to choose from, including classic 3-card poker and blackjack. Our dealers are happy to deal you in at one of our friendly tables throughout the evening, or you can bring your luck to our 200-seat bingo hall and settle into one of our regular games. We offer plenty of monthly events including cash prizes for even more ways to play.”

      “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

  5. I knew a very successful businessman who was prepping. He was discussing his gold investments with me. I said you don’t really own gold. You own some electronic blips. What happens if there is an EMP? Or society collapses? You aren’t going to really own anything. He turned pale. The next time we discussed the topic he had a precious metal scale and was buying the real stuff.

    I don’t own gold but have a variety of denominated silver coins. Most pulled from circulation. I just think of them as a means for 3 way plus bartering. I trade a dime for X and the seller trades for Y.

    My biggest concern, even if I own property debt-free. is paying property taxes in a slow economic descent with hyperinflation. I have considered physical gold in less than an ounce form as a way to save for that scenario. There’s hopefully someone who would trade for whatever fiat money is needed for that.

  6. Having silver coins pre 64 in your preps. is a good idea. Probably Dimes,Quarters , and maybe a few half dollars coins. You must remember if things go south large gold and silver coins will not be as good as small 10,25, & 50 cent silver coins. Gold coins in small size would suit most people better. If you try and trade a 20 or 50 dollar gold piece you won’t get change as they will look at you as someone who has a lot of money. Don’t go out dressed in a suit and tie. take the Gray man “Look”. If you don’t look like you have a lot you may be treated better. Go to a thrift store and make sure you and the family are dressed down. Don’t go dressed in camo and think people won’t notice. If you go in looking like Rambo except a fight some where along the line. I you just returned from the Sandbox in full battle rattle most folks will stay out of your way. Of course there ale always stupid folks that could get there clock cleaned.
    Just try and use some common since. Don’t be afraid to talk to a trusted friend, but never reveal all of what you have to anyone person.
    I wish you well.
    The Gman

    1. Thank you for pointing out the grey man.

      On a note about thrift store clothes… They generally come used and in my experience on the job as work clothes they fall apart quickly.

      It’s better to go to Walmart and buy some of thier “George” brand clothing. I have found that these clothing items are actually high quality and look nice. Most of them are cut very comfortable and very much able to be “moved” in.

      They have the standard plaid and solid colors. Interestingly their plaids come in night colors (muted darks and Greys) and day colors. Not as good are real camo but certainly good enough that I’ve snuck up on my coworkers and been failed to be spotted where I was sitting motionless waiting for them. And they were actively looking for me and know me well.

      Any way using some color stripper will give them a faded old look and allow you to blend in without calling any attention even with out the color fading since it’s just …. Well Walmart clothes

  7. There was an article a year or so ago about how to buy gold jewelry at yard sales. This would be a very small investment as most people would be selling below market value. And in small enough pieces to make purchases possible without needing change. Also a good place to get other prepping tools.

  8. I believe, like every other prep, putting up tangible precious metal is a wise policy. And for none of the reasons you have mentioned.
    Metals, gold and silver have been a standard of exchange from time immemorial.
    Mankind will always reinstitute order of one kind or an other, on one scale or another, after any cataclysmic event. It’s in our nature to have order.
    And even if nothing happens in your life time – precious metals will be worth something and probably hold or exceed their original cost to you.
    You cannot eat, build shelter or have property to do either out of precious metals ~ so there should be order in your preps. Order is the attribute God does all things with… and we are created in His image.

  9. I think this is a useful article for a number of reasons.

    “Survivalism” has been around a long time and many readers of this site are children of the Cold War (all readers of this site have lived the majority of their lives under a specific type of war).

    What may have been valued as a survival strategy during the Cold War does not mean ALL of those values remain today.

    To start, information. Where did people get their information before the internet? The internet provides people access to all sorts of information, and the ability to participate in conversations that were never possible prior to the internet. Because of this, a single article could have been written in the early Cold War explaining for the average person why buying gold is worth while. The “buy gold” story then became so widely produced that it just seems normal.

    Today, however, people have the ability to question any narrative, along with many others to say “You know, that may not be the best move for me.” I personally question several aspects of “survival,” and have studied their origins at length. Many aspects are political in nature, and serve a higher purpose rather than being truly useful to the end-user.

    Having said that, buying land and having long-term access to food and energy (trees) is, IMO, a much smarter move then gold.

  10. Poor mans gold aka silver has been in use for thousands of years as money. The reason being it serves a purpose. Society needs a means of exchange that is portable, durable, and recognizable by most people. Unlike paper money silver is stored wealth. Because of its cost of mining. It’s currently out of fashion or maybe out of season. Maybe winter won’t come but don’t bet against nature. I suspect winter will come, and one day people will wake up and feel the need for the warmth it provides in a well rounded prepared program. It has only been a few decades since this was common knowledge, how soon we forget.

  11. One of the first documents to wake me up years ago was ‘The Precepts of Rawlesian Survivalist Philosophy’. Re. investing it read (and still does), “The majority of your assets should be invested in productive farm land and other tangibles such as useful hand tools. Only after you have your key logistics squared away, anything extra should be invested in silver and gold.”

    I agree with the author that many folks have irrationally embraced gold as a quick fix. “Buy gold. Check. I’m ready for anything.” For many it has become a fanaticism. One cannot overlook the possibility that greed is a motive.

    As an aside, have you noticed it is basically a male phenomenon? You can’t tell these cowboys anything. This old coot tried to politely question priorities on a well-known ‘conservative’ (wink-wink nod-nod) site. I was continually ignored at best. Finally I posted this picture. I was banned.

    1. Your picture has it exactly backwards. During the great depression there was not a shortage of food. You could buy food if you had money. There was a shortage of money. What I think is missing from this discussion is everyone looks at this from the two extremes. Either it is true TEOTWAWKI OR it is normal life. The truth is we are far more likely to have a bad recession or another depression than any other SHTF scenario. If it was 2009 all over agin wouldn’t you likje to own some gold or silver?

    2. You were banned due to the promotion of the Vendor’s food. You should have blackened out the name first. Anyhow, the gold coin would be refused and we would have our food at that end of that ordeal.

  12. Most preppers would agree that gold should not be the first or most of one’s preps. But most would also agree that in many complete disasters dollars might become worthless.

    I do not believe that I can fully prepare for every emergency. I am certain I will miss something that will be painfully obvious when it is too late.

    If others have what you need and dollars are worthless, the best thing to have is what they need or want. More beans, bullets, band aids, and spirits than one needs for personal consumption could work. Bicycles and parts might be good also. Silver might work if you don’t have what they want in that it can be used for smaller things than gold. But a few easily carried half or quarter ounces of gold while traveling might buy one’s freedom. Look at it as a “Don’t leave home without it.” carry item.

  13. I don’t know what a kuggerand or a maple leaf are worth in a collapse without checking a phone and the market but I know what a chicken, can of gas or a bag of dent corn is worth. But I’m just a common man.

  14. Personally, I see no logical reason to buy gold even physically. When the SHTF junk silver is easily recognizable for it’s silver content by many. Gold is not. Most have never seen or held a gold coin and would not be able to recognize it.

    I do not purchase anything that I cannot physically hold and store. Not stocks, not metal interests, nothing. These are electronic fictions that will be gone in the blink of an eye.

    1. I agree with this, but will include that what may have held value in the past, may not hold it in the future. In the event of societal collapse via EMP or other catastrophic occurrence, the underlying form of trade will be determined by those in power.

      If power is seized via military or other form of guerilla group, they may not have access to gold or silver. Consequently, they may deem some other element to be the mode of exchange if they themselves control the vast majority of it.

      In the event of EMP, the lasting effects will shift to a new paradigm and that may not include gold and especially silver. During the recent threat of war with Iran the price of gold shot up…but silver did not. That tells me that people did not run to silver as a means of wealth protection.

      In the EMP scenario, those who come to power will find a way to exact “taxes” of some sort from those who are under their control. It may come in the form of foodstuffs, farm animals, or some other asset that has tangible value. I think that most people see a pending catastrophe as something temporary and things will eventually return to normal, with gold being the currency backing transactions.
      However, if you are starving, gold will have no value if the other guy has the food.

  15. Gold and silver are way down my list of items for comfortably getting through disasters. Start with a list of situations from the most likely (hurricane? losing your job?) and work down towards least likely (EMP? Yellowstone?) It seems to me that living in Jacksonville, FL (I’m also in FL) you should start with what you need to get through a severe storm. Gold isn’t on that list. Protection, water, food, shelter, power, first aid, all are way more important than metal. You will find that as you prepare for the most likely events that your preps will cascade down the list so that over time you are ready for more scenarios. Metals, to me, are a savings account I have possession of, after getting the basics in order. When you reach that point, if you do, you will know.

  16. I own precious metals, but I’ll name a few reasons people might be turned off from them:

    1. They invested in gold once, and lost money (i.e. Dave Ramsey)

    2. They would rather spend their money on guns, books, survivalist training, food storage, etc.

    3. Someone once told them, “you can’t eat gold”, and it made them laugh and snicker.

    4. Gold is quite expensive

    In my opinion, take care of water, food, hygiene, security, barter items (one option is Gold) in that order. If you don’t like gold, try carrying thousands of gallons of excess water somewhere to barter with….you just might die from exhaustion.

    PM’s in small denominations would prove useful for barter, and a standard value will quickly fill the void of the funny money. I think 10% of your holdings in tradeable metals of various values (including copper wire) will prove very helpful. But like JWR and many others emphasize, the basic staples must be procured first. Land with trees and water and wild animals is valuable. Ammunition is multi purpose, defense, hunting and barter. But remember it could be used against you. Food is life. Communication is critical. Education is valuable to teach and work with others. Skills are the most valuable tool you have no one can take away. Trust and faith in God is what can pull you through everything.

    1. You are so right in Diversification…..start with water, food and shelter. We have been prepping for 30 years. We started with the very basics and with time, saving and hard work we have everything from A-Z. Then with basic investment in junk silver and progressed as we could afford. Be logical and make a list what you can afford!
      As Steven R stated you cannot prepare for every emergency….am sure we will miss something too late to prepare for.

  18. In the event of a total societal collapse, are property taxes even going to be a consideration? If the common man is starving, there’s no power, and hordes are roaming the cities pillaging and plundering, who is going to bother showing up for work at the county auditor and treasureres office and worry about collecting taxes? Even during the Great Depression and dust bowl, there was a governmental and societal infrastructure in place, along with a fiat currency system.

    IMHO, it makes more sense to keep enough fiat reserves to pay the taxes during an economic depression of the same magnitude, and invest in permanent personal infrastructure- shelter, food, land and means of production, defense- to survive a total collapse.

  19. Generally, a fair market value of anything is what a buyer is willing to pay for something and what the selling is willing to accept. If you are strictly relying on a blip on a screen for a value for anything, then you are quite done (think it out). Is your live chicken worth the trade for a chisel? You decide, it is up to you and one who is willing to get rid of his chisel. Same concept if you want to trade your gold. Yes you cannot eat gold, but there will be a buyer who will be willing to buy gold, don’t presume a buyers motivation, it may well be quite different than yours.

    Since the early Egyptian tomb raiders to today’s burglars, what do thieves always go after – jewelry made of precious metals. Natzis during WW II also pillaged gold even going as far as extracting fillings from their victims. So there always will be a value for gold. Having said that, I would recommend always owning some gold.

  20. Before systems of barter and trade can re-emerge post TEOTWAWKI, primary needs must be met — water, food, medicine, shelter, defense. Begin with the basics, and build from there. This is, in our opinions, the first priority of preparedness and is in close alignment with knowledge building and skill development.

    Some access to financial instruments would also be important should there be the need for property tax or other payments that must be maintained in order to prevent potential losses.

    Financial instruments will also be important as trade and barter or other financial exchange systems are reestablished (and, of course, this assumes that the disaster imagined for the sake of this conversation actually interrupts, stalls or wipes those out).

    In the present… Given that we don’t yet know how 2019-nCoV will unfold, it’s probably most important in the moment, to make a reasoned, intelligent assessment of current, short-term and intermediate-term needs (potentially related to self-quarantine) while not doing so in a way that creates another form of financial risk or causing a financial hardship. For many this will be a very real challenge.

    Remain reasoned, steady and forward moving in your preparedness. Stay well. Be safe everyone.

    1. Well said, Telesilla.

      The basics include people you trust.

      Make new friends and keep the old,
      One is silver and the other is gold.

      Investment in this set of assets requires discernment, as with any assets. Then kindness and generosity, as JWR and Lily exemplify. And, emotional vulnerability. A big stretch for us “manly men” and well worth the investment.

      One other note, invest outside your age, race, and income group. Befriend people who are unlike you in appearance. Your life will be enriched today and if SHTF.

      Just yesterday, I assured a 29-year-old “adopted” grand-daughter that I love her and there is nothing she can do about it. Sweet spouse and I extend ourselves to those who would be our grandchildrens’ age if we had children.

      Carry on

  21. Collapse or catastrophe may not be everywhere. Where it is not, life will continue and what has value will remain valuable. If you have the ability to bug out to the safe areas you will need resources to establish your personal recovery. Metals like gold are easily transportable, universally recognized stores of value. The idea is to not be one or two dimensional in preparedness.

  22. I don’t think gold is worthwhile in a barter situation . If shummer hits the fan, paper money will be worthless while a few silver coins might get you a tank of gasoline, provided there is electricity , or some food. I would try to barter the silver before using my min 14. Living in the country ,when we go to town, we always buy one extra of whatever, with the thought we will probably use it,sooner or later. For me……I try to stock pile, beans, bullets,bandaids,etc.

  23. Ok. To answer your basic question of why collect gold and precious metals.

    First off our fearless community j.w.r. has actually stated in both this books (the first one for sure) and on this very website that silver is indeed a better metal to invest in purchasing.

    Second or fearless leader (and I mean that in a teacher or trail guide manner) has also stated in plain English that you should be buying actual little discs of gold and silver in the lower cost sizes. Since the point of buying these rounds and mini bars is to use them as currency.

    As for who sets thier value well….

    That would be determined by the ” market mediator ” …. This would be the person or persons with the authority to make the trade legitimate.

    A short scene from a movie that illustrates the point the movie is princess minibike (my daughter loved this movie)

    “A young man from a rural village is in a larger town. He attempts to buy rice. The rice merchant as she is about to hand him his bag of rice asked for payment. The young man offers a small chunk of gold. The vendor recoils and demand real money (apparently gold was not widely used as currency in this city) and causes the man of trying to rip her of. A monk who happens to be near steps in and calls the woman foolish, and very publicly announced that it is indeed gold offered in payment and that the amount offered was equal in value to no less that 6 babes of rice. At which point the rice vendor latches on to the monks hand demanding “give me my gold” ”

    This is in essence a great example of a barter economy. All values and I mean ALL values on EVERYTHING is subjective.

    In the states a bag of Cheetos is worth when traded (on average) 50cent to a dollar.
    In certain areas of Africa a bag of chips can purchase “compliance for an act or night” if you follow the insinuation.

    (Part 1 of 2 for expedited reply times)

  24. (part 2 of reply)

    My uncle:

    My uncle is a smart man. He has a PhD. He worked an engineer job. He made more than it cost to live. He took his disposable income and purchased gold and silver. When (the brothers) tried to get all the silver and drove the price way up he bought more silver and sold off his old prices of silver when they had roughly doubled in value (actual silver and gold not slips of paper ). When the price of silver topped the price of gold he sold his silver and bought gold. He managed to pretty much exchange his silver directly for gold in some cases. He then had pounds of gold.


    He then did what any shrewd person would. He retired. He retired at the age of 35. Now when he needs cashy money he just goes to the home safe, or safe deposit boxes (plural don’t keep everything in one basket) takes out some pieces ounces of gold and sells it.

    My uncle is not a prepper. His gold purchases were a very high yield stable medium to store his extra money. He saw that every year dollars lose value but gold’s value stayed roughly the same. So he stored his wealth in as stable a way as he could.

    So both of those should answer your question on what is the deal with gold, why you should get precious metals, when and how precious metals come into play.

  25. Todd, your article spoke about the concerns of what many preppers have had, myself included. I have been thinking about the whole gold/silver issue for years. I’ve asked some of my buddies who are preppers this question: If the SHTF, would a person trade their canned food or medicine for my gold or silver? I believe that person is going to keep their food and medicine and I’m going to walk away with my gold and silver which I can’t eat and I will still be hungry and sick. If in the future you’re trading your gold or silver for a needed survival item then that tells me that that survival item is worth more than your gold or silver. So why not just store that survival item now and have it ready for your group instead of having gold or silver now which you later must trade in order to get that survival item? As for me it would be nice to be so financially set up that I could have both survival items and a good store of gold and silver but as a working man trying to get along in life I haven’t been able to do that. I’ll choose food over gold and hope that I’ve made the right choice. And one other thing that I’ve thought about is if the dollar is someday gone because society has collapsed, how will we buy and sell with gold and silver when practically no one holds any of it? I know only a few people who own precious metals and I would venture to say that 90 percent of people don’t have any except for possibly some jewelry. So how then will gold and silver be the new currency when practically no one has any of it?

    1. Mray,

      I enjoyed your reply and it gave me a thought. How did gold even obtain value? Kings and early state commerce?

      Are diamonds valuable? If one were to follow the story of how diamonds became valued, they will find a marketing campaign by a corporation from the early 1900s. Before that marketing campaign, no one valued or care about diamonds.

      Gold is only valuable if someone values it. For me, I have zero value for it, and its place in survival is a story of hedging against the fiat dollar. (Certainly a good story, but of little to no use in a real survival situation).

  26. After all your other needs for a SHTF , I see no problem with buying PM’s. If the Dollar goes hyper or worthless, how will you pay your property taxes? You know any county will take your property if owe them a nickle. I always look at PM’S as “Better to have some and not need it, as need it and not have it” You do not need a truck load….as things get worse, the higher the PM price goes.

  27. Gold is a store of value for money. If you don’t want your paper money to go bad long term, you store it in the form of precious metals. There are silver dimes and 1/10 ounce gold coins for those who don’t have huge amounts of money but have enough basics like food, water and medicines to make that extra provision.

    For those who live at the balancing-act income level, emphasizing precious metals is like buying car insurance when you don’t have a car. Everybody has to decide what lifestyle they are storing up to maintain. If I lost all my paper money the essentials of my low-income lifestyle would be replaced by barter and work agreements. Certainly no one around here could make change for PMs, as the author points out. There are plenty of people around here who’ve never seen an actual gold coin in their lives.

    If I suddenly won the FreeLotto you betcha I’d buy silver and gold. For right now, my modest stock of things like rice and heavy duty sewing needles makes more sense. Thanks for clearly explaining a point many low-income preppers identify with, without slamming those who do have material wealth to protect.

  28. Although we’re not in a shtf situation yet, my little bit of pm’s came in handy for trading for federal reserve notes to buy a nice, low mileage vehicle with cash. Half ounce gold, quarter ounce gold, and tenth ounce gold pieces along with silver dollars were part of the deal. Personally, it may be more useful to purchase the smaller tenth oz gold pieces (Kruugerands, Maple Leafs, American Eagles) if they are needed for property tax and such. Pre-64 silver for smaller transactions.
    Now, to the macroeconomic situation…central banks are buying up gold at a rapid pace (Russia, China, India, Brazil) while other nations are repatriating their gold (Germany, Poland)…Why? Possibly that the fiat, unbacked paper currencies aren’t worth too much and they’re getting ready for some type of collapse in paper…or an economic “reset”….?
    Also, what have countries found to be useful when paper tumbled and there was hyperinflation? Germany, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Viet Nam and so on? Not sure they were in a “Mad Max” scenario societally, however, in a Mad Max setting…hmm…
    Good article to provoke our thinking. And a reminder to add a little Proverbs 3:5,6 to your stash…

  29. There was a TV series awhile back about survivors of a pandemic, that originated in China of all places. In one of the episodes the survivors came across a guy who is trading supplies for PM’s. They asked him why he wanted gold, which couldn’t be used for anything practicable. He said that one day they would rebuilt society, and a currency would be needed. PM’s have been currency for millennia, and probably will be again.

    I read a couple of books about the build up to WW2 in China. It was a society in chaos. It got to the point that paper money was worthless. PM’s, especially Mexican silver dollars, were what was accepted for payment for almost everything.

  30. Do you have insurance. I have auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance and health care insurance. Many years ago I decided I needed PMs because they are economic disaster insurance. But like all the other insurances it costs me money. I haven’t had an accident in more than a million (perhaps two million) miles of driving and some 30 plus years but I keep plunking down $900 or so twice a year for two cars and a travel trailer. By comparison my PMs are cheap insurance. But some people don’t have insurance. In my state there is a 50/50 chance if you have a car accident that the other guy won’t have insurance. Therefore your car insurance is more expensive just to insure that possibility. IF we have an economic disaster (and we will if the Democrats win) there is a much better than 50/50 chance that your friends and relatives won’t have PMs to insure their ability to survive and they will see you still eating and come begging. THEY are the uninsured that everyone is trying to warn you about.

  31. One way to look at it: instead of worrying about what the utility and/or viability of things you’re buying might be during a collapse, think about how you can beat inflation. What’s more likely to happen- inflation or total collapse of society? One of those things has been ongoing and documented in the US for 100+ years (and consistently everywhere throughout history), the other has not happened in this country. Its fun to imagine how you would survive TEOTWAWKI scenario, but inflation has been stealing your wealth from cradle to grave. Try to view your purchases through this lens. Parking your dollars in things like rifles, PMs, land, tools, etc will help you beat inflation. If SHTF, having these things will put you ahead of the curve; a nice bonus.

    1. Great comments about inflation, we are all subject to it. Just look at your utility bills and cell phone bill, that $.10 or $.77 cent extra tax/charge adds to inflation as well. I remember when gas was $1 a gallon back in high school.

      While I was prepping, I always wondered how gold/silver would fit into my preps as they were so expensive compared to everything else. Gold/silver were last on my list after water, food, supplies, medicine, guns & ammo. Thankfully, we now have some gold, silver and bitcoin.

  32. A few days ago, “cb” posted this link about N95 vs. surgical masks:

    I certainly understand that N95 masks provide a superior seal around the edges of the masks, so I was shocked to see that the protection rate was no better than that the surgical masks provided. (I suspect that infection via the eyes was the culprit.)

    My question here is whether someone with the PROPER CREDENTIALS with the issue can tell me whether the material used to produce each mask protects just as well. In other words, does the fabric of the surgical mask resist the passage of viruses just as well as the fabric of the N95 mask (even though the sides of the surgical mask itself don’t seal as well.)

    Again, I hope that only those with the proper credentials respond. The “just my 2 cents” opinions from others won’t be helpful, and they may well be misleading. Thanks.

    1. I’m sure the manufacturers of the masks have the “PROPER CREDENTIALS” and would be happy to answer your question. Most likely in less time than it took to write an off-topic question in the comment section of an article on gold. But that’s “just my 2 cents”.

    2. I’m not sure what credentials you want, but without a tight seal you accomplish nothing. This is true of any filter.

      If you flex taped a surgical mask to your face, it probably still wouldn’t function as well as a real N95. The articles referenced the filtration standards, it’s apples and oranges.

      1. Here’s a hat tip to you, Vagus, for risking Zombieslayer100’s wrath in addressing a subject that is “off topic.” (The problem is that the only topics addressed in yesterday’s edition involved “Thoughts about Gold” and “Editor’s Prepping Progress.”) I will proceed with caution so as not to likewise engage additional wrath.

        About the “proper credentials” issue, while commenters almost always are well-intentioned, if they aren’t trained or well-educated in the field, by expressing their opinion to everyone, many people may rely on that opinion to their detriment. It is not as if we’re searching for opinions about the best hybrid tomato to plant for the coming spring. The mask issue for many readers may well turn out to be a life or death issue.

        While I have seen it said repeatedly that “any mask is better than no mask,” that is an easy concept to understand. Yet, it begs the question, “Does the N95 protect as any better than the surgical mask?”

        That study for which I provided a link was a large study by a respected medical institution, and the journal editors of the American Medical Association believed that it was important enough to merit inclusion in its publication last September. The conclusion of the study was that N95 masks were no better in protecting the wearer from the flu than were mundane surgical masks that don’t seal. (While the coronavirus isn’t the flu, it is still a virus.) Is the study flawed for some reason?

        I have no particular “credentials” here, but I suspect that the infection rate of both was probably attributable to contamination via the eyes. I found it nevertheless stunning that there was no beneficial effect from using the N95 with its better seal.

        Here is where I was going with this. Inventories of N95 masks are drying up everywhere. Surgical masks seem to be more available. If the coronavirus arrives in a big way in the US and lasts for weeks, and, worse yet, even months, even people with a huge number of N95 masks may well find themselves running short.

        In order to stretch the protection available, and to avoid having to wear each mask too long, or to avoid using an N95 single-use mask on multiple occasions, perhaps an enterprising prepper could cut the fabric of an N95 mask in pieces and seal it across the filters of commonly available paint respirators (or, perhaps more likely, simply the paint respirators’ intakes without the respirators’ filters in place) and stretch out the protection period by several multiples. One standard N95 filter could be cut into several pieces.

        If this idea actually works with commonly available paint respirators, then an even longer period of protection will be available if material from simple and more available surgical masks can be used interchangeably in place of N95 material.

        I have seen no one anywhere suggest an approach like this. This idea may be wrong for all sorts of reasons. Yet, if it works, it’s a case of “desperate times, desperate measures.” We all might find ourselves at that point in a few months.

        I recognize that the answer is well above my paygrade. I’m hoping that those with adequate training will say that it is an effective solution, because those readers who waited too late to buy an adequate stock of N95 masks could benefit greatly.

        1. Ah, ok. I apologize for any and all snark.

          I’d have to look at the study. My counterpoint is the testimony of TXnurse and other here, who have used N95 to protect successfully against infectious diseases. If I were to guess, if the study is valid, it’d probably be because N95 masks are glorified coffee filters made as cheaply as possible, and it’s easy to screw up wearing them.

          For negative pressure (breathing in) gaps suck in virus. Arguably less virus, but I’m not wanting to be a canary in the coal mine.

          For the second point we’re going to go so far off the reservation we won’t even be able to see it from space. I’m not familiar with the paint respirators you mentioned, but yeah you could do that, as long as you glued it with no gaps. Let’s go further though, there was an article that pointed out that P100 also means HEPA. Think your furnace filter, vacuum filter, car engine and cabin air filters. If I had to, I would cannibalize those in the manner you suggested.

          1. No, I didn’t mean to imply that you made the snarky comment.

            I like your idea about the HEPA filter. 3M makes one that is supposed to stop viruses. Given how thick it is, however, and the fact that it is shaped much like a washboard, it might be difficult to use with any sort of face mask.

            About “any filter being better than none,” there are photos on the internet of a Chinese fellow wearing a mask fabricated from a bra cup. Another has a sanitary napkin taped over his nose and mouth.

            Those wouldn’t be my first choices!

          2. One last thought:

            “In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.”

            While the N95 filters have their shortcomings, instead of gluing a piece of it onto a paint respirator or its filter, I’m thinking that using duct or Gorilla tape around the edges of the N95 material would be a better choice. That way, the material could be easily peeled off and replaced each day if it was deemed necessary. One factory filter might provide five or more useable filters this way.

  33. My Comment disappeared from the screen when I went to type, “You are appreciated,”
    I typed the Y and zap everything disappeared. I have no idea why that happened . Was it what I said that some one did not like or is there a limit on words? Puzzled!

  34. I had a friend in the military back in the early 70’s who owned gold and silver coins. He decided to change his collection philosophy and only collect quality American gold coins. He sold me some of his silver dollars (20 for $95) Just a few years later when the Hunt brothers pulled their silver hoarding scam I sold those silver dollars for $50 apiece. Pretty good. But my friend did even better. He got rid of all his junk and invested in about 20 American gold collector quality coins that today are worth about $2 million. He basically turned $20,000 into $2 million by buying gold coins.

  35. PM is an investment. I believe this will not be used for us (due to our age); rather, for our children and/or their children. It’s an investment and a stable one at that. Besides, God made PMs which makes it more real to me than man-made fiat currency. Three men were given the same coin and instructed to manage this wealth. Long story short the first two men invested their coin increasing their wealth, where the third man buried his coin resulting in no increase to his wealth. God looked upon the first two men saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.” God took the buried coin from the third man and gave it to the first man. Now that man was flat broke! God desires us to be good managers of all he gives us. Who made the PM? He did.

    1. Do it concurrently. Honestly it’s not hard to buy here and there. Buy silver. Doesbt need to be gold. Gold gets all the attention. Which looks both intimidating on its prices and make it the target of legeslation like the gold act.

      Firearms as wealth securing is limited by laws and potential laws.

      Gold only same thing

      Bullets and cartridge and shell potentially same thing.

      Food …. Laughable when was the last time you could pay a mortgage with only food? Or exchanged food for a tank of gas? (Not talking about farming of course)

      Booze . …. It’s a great barter item but distilled spirits are currently illegal to make in all 50 states with out license… And there are many ways booze is illegal to trade in grid up world.

      Trade is a if not THE cornerstone of human civilization. No one can do it all. Even small groups can’t do it all.

      Personally I’m looking into how to grow caffine plants (tea , guarana, etc). Tobacco , poppies, bee keeping, medicinal herbs and thier uses

      I’m learning distilling and wine making.

      Why… Because these items are highly sought after.

      And I’m adding to my previous and semi precious metals too.

      Copper, lead, aluminum, steel, tin, gold (as I can) silver (as I can)

      Why copper and lead? Bullets. People will need bullets.

      Any one and I mean any one who tries can grow crops.

      So you’ve got lettuce and eggs to trade for my honey . Ok cool you have a bushel nice. I can’t eat a whole bushel and my neighbours have lettus.


      You have a nice and shiny ring that I can give to my wife sure here is your honey.

      Oh wait you have a nice chunk of lead well yes sir here is your honey.

      I see you have some silver rounds. Why yes we take that.

      An iPod with 3000 songs on it with classic rock …. Would you like me to home deliver

  36. Hiram trying again!

    Yes I am an old guy, but I do remember when an ounce of gold was worth $35 an ounce. Today it has been posted as being $1,570.30 an ounce while on February 1 it was up to $1,588.80.
    I’ve always liked the example below, but it is not infallible:

    If you bought a suit in 1950 for $35 dollars, it would cost you $35 dollars.
    Currently, that same suit bought today would cost you $373 because of inflation.

    Now think of this. If you had used that $35 to purchase an ounce of gold in the fifties, that ounce of gold would be worth $1,570.30 today on February 8. And then today, you would be able to purchase four suits and a few shirts! Unfortunately, if you had done the opposite, you would sadly see that the dollars you put away would have far less buying power today.

    For some, purchasing gold is a hedge against inflation, i.e., silver for buying, gold for preserving.

    It is true that we have seen market values increase significantly which has benefited investors tremendously, but what will happen in our future? Will we have a sudden devaluation of the dollar along with a stock market collapse? Could it happen here? As you no doubt know, that is exactly what many are predicting, i.e., think Venezuela and Germany.

    Why would it happen? Many believe it is because our national debt is out of control. Today, we see that on a site called – – the debt is increasing rapidly. At this moment, it is approaching, $23,266,046,765,569 (trillions) and is growing much faster than you can imagine, faster than you can blink your eye! The big guess is when or will the default occur?

    What will happen to your money in the bank? As a result of the World Bank’s influence, our government has changed the status of those that have money in the bank. You are now considered to be in business with the bank. If the bank goes bankrupt during a future collapse, you will lose your money, because you are considered to be in business with the bank. Just something to add to the equation. Yipe!

    Will the FICA save you? You better think about the ability they will have at that point or even their legal responsibility.

    Remember: Silver for Purchasing, Gold for Preserving.

    Those that read Harry Browne’s book, The Coming Devolution of the Dollar may be smiling broadly today.

    My thanks to JWR, the responders that commented, and to the author of the essay, Thoughts About Gold by Todd from Florida. Here goes my “Y” again, let’s see if my post disappears.

    You all…. are appreciated!

    1. The deficit grows at a whopping $4,000,000,000 per day USD. Imagine having zero debt and how many programs could the government fund for us Americans with $4-Billion USD at its disposal PER DAY???

      1. None Davis none. Our whole financial system is based on fractional reserve banking which is it’s self based on having outstanding loans. The Federal reserve is a bank that is owned by other people and banks. That bank in turn sells money to the us at profit.

        Most of the money in the us in circulation is actual \ has actually been invented by a bank with a few key strokes. It is barely covered by the actual fiat money that we call cash.

        That’s a crash course in it. But suffice it to say… No debts no money no government.

  37. Historically a SHTF situation COULD be a Bright Flash in the Sky FAST event BUT sadly much more likely to be a slow grind down hill like a drunk staggering on a long set of stairs.

    In that “Socialist Paradise” Venezuela where the local fiat money the “Strong Bolivar” is USED as a Napkin for street food a cheap wedding ring 10-14 carat or so would *Still* get you nearly a months worth of groceries even after the Gangs got their cut.

    During the Great Depression TAXES still had to be paid and Sheriffs were on hand to “Help” the Banks remove you from your property for debts owed and or taxes owed. Again the “Family Jewels” COULD save the farm for at least a year.

    Trading firearms and or ammo is a serious TRUST issue. IF the Socialist-Democrats bring our Republic to it’s knees in the next election (AND they CAN IF they figure out a decent candidate that ATTRACTS the Millennial Voters with Free Stuff AND Debt Forgiveness) WE will be looking like Venezuela pretty soon.

    Then trading firearms and ammo MIGHT get “A Good Citizen” to “See Something Say Something” for a Reward (like food or toilet paper) and off you and yours goes in that unmarked van.

    First: safe water supply, food, shelter, seeds, skills worth something when electricity is at best spotty or expensive, well developed gardens, fruit trees-bushes, maybe a fish pond, AND TRUSTED Friends.

    Any extra can go to Gold and Silver mostly silver for daily needs if there is ANY form of Non-Barter economy going on. A few “extra” wedding rings are useful for a “ALL I HAVE Officer, please…” bartering for benign legal actions.

    Why do I know this? That wedding rings gambit got my Jewish Grandparents OUT of Weimar Germany after Kristalnact to go to England and then to America.

  38. Hey Todd, you make a lot of good points. This is one of my favorite subjects so I’ll try to be brief. But in a nutshell, unless you have the money to invest, food and staples are probably the best things to spend your limited funds on. But here’s a challenge: How many habits can you give up in 2020 that will let you divert some money into junk silver? Smoking? Soft drinks? Fast food? Junk food? Movies? Restaurants? You get the idea…

    Pre-TEOTWAWKI. Silver is one of the best investments anyone can make right now. Most other investments (stock market, gold, real estate) are at or near their all-time highs while silver is only at about a third of its all-time high. The means it has to nearly triple to regain its former highs, which they were near as recently as 2011. I’ve been investing in silver since I got my first ounce back when I was 13. I started investing more seriously in college and have never lost a dime investing in silver in almost 50 years. It’s part of the reason I was able to retire early and pay cash for my 20-acre homestead. (Learn from the 2008 market crash when everyone was panicking. Silver bottomed at $9, then hit $48 within 2½ years. Keep that in mind for the next upcoming crash. Those kinds of returns may not repeat themselves, but they should still be pretty good nonetheless.)

    Bethany made a very important comment about taxes. Most people have a hard time holding money in the bank so precious metals make a great way to keep money set aside for that super-super emergency. As I’ve tried to imagine how events are going to unfold in this country over the next 15 years I think there’s a high probability that a Greater Depression (as some are calling it) will precede a TEOTWAWKI event. If a Depression happens, the most important thing will be saving our properties by being able to pay the taxes and make the mortgage payments. If you have some Krugerrands or silver you can pull out of the safe deposit box and cash in, they can be a lifesaver. Which brings up another point. I tell my kids it’s a bad idea to pay down your mortgage in these uncertain times. Use the extra money instead to buy silver and when you get to the point where you can pay it off in full, then cash in that silver and pay it off in full. If you pay it down, and you lose your job, or the Greater Depression hits, the bank doesn’t care how much you’ve paid down your mortgage. If you miss three payments they’re still going to show up at your door with the sheriff and throw you into the street.

    Post SHTF – IMO junk silver is going to be the way to go, but not until after everything settles down and life gets into some sort of a routine. Perhaps even more valuable than junk silver will be learning as many skills as possible that will be handy in a grid-down world: skills that people would be willing to barter for, skills that would net us some income, skills that would earn us some of those junk dimes and quarters. Unless we’ve got herds and gardens, we’ll eventually run out of barter items and then what? Skills. Skills. Skills. One of my skills that is completely useless today except on a personal level is bookbinding. But post-SHTF when there’s no more internet, people will be using books again as references and they will eventually be falling apart from use. With no more Amazon to replace worn-out books, suddenly, I’ll have a very rare and usable skill. 🙂 So if you can’t afford to buy junk silver right now, there are plenty of ways to learn new grid-down skills via the internet.

    1. St. Funogas: I’m not sure if this is correct or not but I read somewhere that the banks have a
      different mind set reference evictions in the event of another depression.
      The gist of it is the fact that during the last depression there were so many
      repossessions and evictions that most homes decayed to the point of being
      nearly worthless. Maybe the banks feel that having live in caretaker is better.

      Who knows.Hopefully we never have to find out.

  39. A lifelong friend of mine had parents who were in the coin business. While chatting one afternoon in the coin shop many years ago, I had the good fortune to watch silently as a rather disheveled and dirty looking fellow walked into the store and purchased a single silver coin. Mind you, he wasn’t “disheveled and dirty” in any shameful sort of way. The fellow (as I later learned) worked hard manual labor, which is a totally honorable thing in my book. My friend explained that the fellow had been stopping in twice a month for years. From each paycheck he purchased one silver coin. I instantly admired this man’s financial discipline! Think of it… at the end of each year, this hard working man had acquired 50 silver coins at ~$5-6 each. By 2011 those coins were worth nearly $50 a piece. I hope he ended up both wealthy and well, and I’m grateful for the valuable lesson he taught me.

    How many of us blow ~$20 a month on things we truly don’t need? That’s roughly one silver coin a month! With a little discipline, many of us can “squirrel away” the funds we need for prepping. My child used to whine that we had no TV, but TV was an unnecessary luxury on my limited budget. Nowadays we look back fondly on the time we spent going for walks together, fishing, reading books from the library, and playing Chinese checkers – all of which we did instead of watching TV. While my girlfriends sported professional manicures, I did my own nails in pretty pink polish. My neighbors had a lawn service, but I purchased a used $10 push lawn mower and got some exercise. (I’m not gonna’ lie… I hated it!) And when I realized how pricey mixed salad greens were, I grew my own supply very easily in a few pots on the patio. All discretionary income was diverted to prepping, and the teensy savings here and there added up. Gold was expensive but I could afford silver. To my surprise, as gold went up in value, so did silver!

    When my modest stash of PMs doubled in value back in the 2011 time frame, I used that gain for down payment on a piece of land in the Redoubt. Those PMs were converted to something that could sustain a garden and a few livestock. Finally, from a historic perspective, I am reminded of how many Jews bought their freedom (and saved their own lives) with silver and gold coins secretly sewn into the hems of their clothes during WWII. (I am part Jewish and their stories of survival really capture my heart.)

    Since none of us know what the future holds, I think the true value of ALL preps, including precious metals, is that they give us *options*. Having options is always a good thing, and sacrificing in order to acquire preps is therefore a worthwhile endeavor. Situations change. We need to be adaptable, with a varied array of resources. This concept is exemplified most perfectly by the words of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane:

    Luke 22:36:
    And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.”

    1. Excellent. One point I haven’t seen in the article or comments, is the value of small gold coins–1/10th ounce or so. Very compact, not horribly expensive, not likely to be confused with standard change.

      This hint came from a WW2 survivor.

      Otherwise, I’d favor 1-ounce .999 silver coins, or junk silver.

      Currently, the only PM I hold is some .9999 fine silver wire for making colloidal silver. I’m busy investing in developing the homestead.

      If I were saving money to buy land (planning ahead a few years), I’d put a good portion of it in PM’s.

  40. I am currently living in n.Idaho where i joke i can cross poverty off my bucket list. I work in a assisted living community. I pray that a mad max, grid down, whatever you call it never happens. i believe that PM will have a place after the initial carnage is over.Those fortunate enough to be outside the areas of chaos will have the best chance to use PM . if you are unable to survive the havoc then PM will be of little use.

  41. For the common man, a small stash of precious metals, ideally junk dimes, is good for a contingency, or emergency plan. It is only a vehicle to preserve wealth until such a time an economy emerges on the other side. During that time it might be useless in comparison to other essentials that one is likely going to need, yet will not be available. During WW2, the wealthy used gold to buy food. The farmer had the upper hand, or advantage in negotiation. Not enough gold, no eating for you… In less than a total collapse, precious metals might pay the property taxes. Of course higher the property tax, the more gold you got to have.

  42. I like low end pm’s lead , brass , copper, ,,,, they trade very well as the col said “ballistic wampum” . with good folks you trade the easy way with bad folks you trade the fast way !

  43. I agree with your point mostly. One economy that will exist in a TEOTWAWKI scenario will be the barter and trade economy. What skills do you have that will be valuable when money is no good. Can you work on a vehicle, fix a roof or dig a bunker that can be used in trade for whatever you may need? I do have a small amount of pre-1964 silver, but most of my precious metals are brass and lead. Thanks for your perspective. I hope you gain the knowledge you are after. You have made the right first step in seeking…

  44. Gold and silver are good to get you things on the way down during an economic collapse. Also before there is an established currency it will be beneficial to have gold and silver as everything resets. Now if it truly is TEOTWAWKI then: Ezekiel 7:19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity. PMs have their place but really only after everything else is at least somewhat addressed. One of the best quotes for this is from Norm Franz: “Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants – but debt is the money of slaves.”

  45. Speaking of. Does any one have and trusted sources to buy good or silver physically.

    I had a rough couple years after my divorce and move across country.

    I’m finally back in a position to restart the perps again… But my local places are on a whole different coast. And I’m wary or internet random offerings.

    And yes if your interested my prepping had \ has allowed me to keep my life going. But at this point I’m almost starting fresh again between the moves and heavy leaning on them and losses during divorce and subsequent relocation.

  46. 1) 50 years ago, Harry Browne clearly explained in his Permanent Portfolio that no investment is good for every situation — hence the 4 way hedge of cash/short term Treasuries, Long Term Treasury Bonds, Good Stocks and Gold. Like outriggers on a Polynesian canoe, it keeps you afloat no matter which direction the wave comes from (inflation, deflation, recession, prosperity). The prosperity event is important — people may lose far more by failing to take advantage of opportunity than by losing on investments. Look at what buying the S&P 500 index fund in 2009 would have given you by now — or buying Amazon.

    2) 10 years ago I was discussing gold with some people on a liberal blog who argued Keynes idea that gold was a barbarous relic. If that was true, then the central banks of the major world powers would not be holding thousands of TONs of gold. The dollar has been the world’s reserve currency since WWII because we had the strongest military, biggest economy, and nukes. However, we are now $23 Trillion in federal debt alone — with our net debt to foreigners (i.e after deducting what they owe to us) being around $10 Trillion. So some people want to hedge their bets instead of being all in dollars.

    3) We could have a catastrophe with billions of people dying — and the survivors would still have a social hierarchy in which a small elite holds most of the wealth and power. And like all elites in the past 5000 years, that elite would want gold as a medium of exchange and store of value. Nothing else works as well. Scarce and imperious to corrosion.

    4) Almost no place on earth is invulnerable — in a nuclear conflict with Russia, weak Europe would be a pile of ashes and the Redoubt might be buried under 15000 rads of fallout. Australia and New Zealand together only have 24 million people — and have 4 billion Asians just to the north across easily crossed island chains. Which is why billionaire survivialist Pierre Omidyar has a personal Dessault Falcon jet that can carry him around his homes in Hawaii (4th largest collection of US military personnel), Nevada and France.

    5) But to relocate you need a portable store of significant wealth. $100,000 in silver coins weighs 357 pounds, in gold it weighs 4 pounds — and is a lot less bulky. Although it makes more sense to buy and store gold in a foreign refuge now rather
    than try to smuggle it across borders in a major crisis.

    6) Like JWR I have noticed the usually low price of platinum relative to gold. Given relative scarcity, platinum is usually more costly than gold but it has been $600 less per ounce in the past several years. So why the low demand when gold is high? One reason may be tradition — platinum does not have gold’s 5000 year old tradition of acceptance everywhere. Plus Zimbabwe needs dollars.

    7) But I wondered why platinum is not valued more given the multiple instances of fake gold coins being sold — tungsten (density very close to gold’s) plated with gold. But I think the reason is as follows: a) The only sure test for PMs is melting — coins are no longer any more reliable than nuggets b) Gold is easy to melt whereas platinum has much higher melting point c) there are some metals with a density close to platinum that would allow counterfeits d) platinum may lose much of its value in the future of asteroid mining ventures are successful — some asteroids are thought to have high platinum content.

  47. PS People may want to look into the nontrivial losses they can suffer nowdays if they sell gold.

    There is the sizable dealer premium–i.e they will buy a gold coin at a much lower price than what they charge to sell one.

    Some states are imposing taxes — and I believe they require gold dealers to record the name and id of a gold seller. The IRS taxes gold sales heavily although it gives a limited break to American Eagles over foreign gold coins.

  48. PS Again

    1) I forgot to mention — gold is also anonymous and free of government control.

    2) People think dollars are anonymous but every piece of currency has an id number. The cash you get out of an ATM is numbered and could be easily tied to your account/name. ( When I have pulled out $500 in 20s, I have noticed sometimes the stack has fresh 20s numbered in sequential order.)

    3) FDR did make gold possession illegal in the Depression — but his writ only ran in the USA. Americans who had stored gold anonymously outside the USA still had independent wealth.

    4) I have read that during the Cold War the Federal Reserve planned to make green dollars worthless and replace them with red colored dollars in order to make rationing and reconstitution of the economy work. A fiat currency only has the value that the government places on it. In the case of the red dollars, the Fed supposedly planned to make them valuable by requiring them for payment of taxes.

    Reportedly, the large pallets with $4 billion of dollars in the red currency were stored at the Federal Reserves nuclear war bunker in Culpeper , Va. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the bunker was transferred to the National Archives — I don’t know if the red currency was destroyed.

  49. I found SurvivalBlog around 2010. One of the first things that made sense to me was buying “junk” silver. That, of course is pre-1965, 90% silver US coins. I made it a goal to acquire 1000 Troy Ounces. I chose to buy in $100 face value bags, one bag at a time. I bought mostly dimes (60%), but also quarters (20%), halves (10%), and one bag of mixed silver dollars (also 10%). I stopped at $1000 face value. This is not 1000 ounces. I have bought other loose US silver coins and am right at my goal, weight wise. It took me about four years to get where I am on PM’s. I have chosen to wait to buy gold until all the other things I need are in place. I’m slowly getting there.

    I’m not where I should be on the rest of my preps, but I had to start somewhere. Silver was the easiest place for me to start at that time.

    I see PM’s, especially gold, platinum, and palladium, as an investment in the future, the relatively far future. I see silver as being the first currency, during and after, whatever event takes down society as we know it. It’s coming, no one knows when that ball drops. That makes silver the wise choice for an early acquisition before the Schumer hits the fan. I’ll buy gold, only if I have time and money after everything else is in place. But, as you can see, silver is also an investment in the future.

    It doesn’t have to be a big purchase, you can buy silver one coin or bar at a time. Walk into your nearest pawn shop or other coin dealer and buy. Don’t forget, there are also 35% silver nickles, and 40% silver halves (some Kennedy’s) and 40% silver dollars (some Eisenhower’s). Oh, and don’t forget, save any nickles and save pre-1982 pennies.

  50. Hi all, great discussion!
    I don’t have a lot of PM’s but over the years when I worked retail, every so often people would pay cash and change and sometimes I would find 90% Silver quarters which I would would then trade out with quarters from my own wallet (with permission from manager of course, as I did not want to be accused of stealing). Once I found 5 in one shift!! It’s fun to find them too! My kids were young then so this got them interested in coins also.
    Now I buy my gold in grams, also platinum (I like it ) and it’s a reasonable way to acquire PM’s while also having fun with it.
    I also like to buy Silver Eagles and recently got proof sets for my kids from the years they were born and some Silver Eagles for them too .

    For Christmas I got my dad a set of one ounce Silver coins from a release of coins for each of the states that are part of Route 66. Each coin is beautiful and I got a presentation tin that is like a license plate to display them in. My 82 year old dad Loves it!!!
    Also acquired one ounce Silver USMC coins, one for dad and One each for son and daughter
    I prefer to purchase my PM’s through APMEX , I believe they may have been a sponsor on Survival Blog (that’s how I found them)
    I have bought from them for a few years now. They deal in small amounts such as grams all the way up to monster boxes of coins
    Check them out & like I said have fun with it.
    I plan to leave my collection to my son and daughter after I’m gone, but I’m having fun acquiring items right now!!

  51. Interesting article plus lots of great comments. I guess my thoughts on this are pretty much that gold makes sense as an investment IF you buy it low(and of course have access to knowing the future! ). I think that before investing in gold one would want to have all(or most) of their other preparedness needs taken care of. To me, at this point it’s more critical that I spend my limited funds on a good wood stove, firewood, food, tools, a good metal roof and that sort of stuff. While I can see a role for gold in a SHTF scenario, I also figure that having one’s basic needs taken care of is more important. I’m stocking up on some extras of things such as seeds, basic food such as peanut butter and canned fish etc that I can either use as needed, trade with others or provide to those in need. I just figure that in a disaster scenario, others are more likely to be in need of garden seeds and nutritious food than metals such as gold or silver.

    That said, I can see how silver in particular could play a role in being able to buy stuff from people in a SHTF scenario where our US currency is devalued or worthless. I think that so called “junk silver” coins could be especially useful this way as you can just use face value to set a price, so maybe $1 face value buys you a tool or feed for the chickens or whatever. Just seems to me that the coins will be easily recognizable and familiar and easy to know how much silver is in them due to their date. This then would only be the case if our paper currency crashed and people were in need of a new way of paying for stuff without directly trading items for items. When I can afford to do so I will start with buying some junk silver coins but it’s not going to be a whole lot.

    Just curious; have any of you in recent years found pre-1965 dimes or quarters in your change, in rolls of coins etc? I figure that while much of that has already been snapped up there must still be a fair amount not in general circulation that ends up being cashed in at face value by those ignorant of its true value; scenarios for that would include an elderly person dying who had a large “change jar”, people who break into and rob homes who then put the coins through those coin machines found in grocery stores to get gift cards and the like. Does anyone have any recent experience in finding these coins still in circulation? While I’ve been into preparedness for many years, buying PM has never been something I’ve done.

  52. Todd:
    I see it as a store of value for later given certain events. I started with quarter and thirds of an ounce. I buy from a couple local coin shops. Never buy from those who hype the most. I am probably only at a month’s income equivalent but then you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. When I fly, I carry two gold coins and a roll of silver quarters. Some cash too. One for a bicycle, one for a fire arm and quarters/ cash for food on my journey home.

    A solar panel or two and one of those DC powered freezers might be a better place to put your money. Even without disaster that DC powered unit is really cheap to run. Engineer855 or some such has a clever device that runs power from a panel to your hot water heater. He shows on his video how to substitute a 24 volt element in the lower position. The upper remain connected to house power. Again, you save. I have done the first and have my sites set on the second.

    And, read what the Mormons have to say about food storage.

    My other goal is to have a storage unit one my way to where I would go if I had to go.

    Luck to you.


  53. I once read that the hill country people during the Vietnam war used homemade paper thin sheets of gold during the war. It seems gold was useful for more than just after teotwawki, wish I had the link to the story.
    One other bit, people often say things like, ‘FDR made gold possession illegal in the Depression’. That’s not exactly true, he only made owning more than five ounces per individual into a crime. Think about that.

  54. Excellent article and comments! I don’t have much to add and agree with others that acquiring the basics of water, food, shelter, etc. and the skills to maintain those in a SHTF scenario is where to prioritize.

    I view gold and silver as primarily a store of wealth to negate inflationary affects. Seems that silver would be easier to trade with for lower cost items given it’s smaller more convenient denominations. I’ve been slowly accumulating for multiple years now with more focus on silver recently due to the high gold/silver price ratio. I buy from California Numismatic as they seem to have lower mark-ups than most others I’ve looked into.

    Also, given the U.S.’s seemingly inevitable movement toward socialism and totalitarianism, you can bet restrictions and monitoring of at least gold transactions will follow. So what does that mean for us now? I struggle with that a bit. Of course the bottom line is to keep Proverbs 3:5,6 in mind.

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