Wearing your precious metals. A fashionable, smart option.

gold jewelryOne of the very first survival articles that caught my eye way back when was written by Ferfal, aka Fernando Aguirre. At the time he posted his notes about surviving the economic collapses of Argentina on a forum known as Frugal Squirrels.

I have no idea how I ended up on that forum, but it’s one of the best out there when it comes to overall preparedness chat and idea exchange.

Anyway, one item of interest was his mention of using gold jewelry as currency when the Argentine paper currency became all but worthless. He wrote about buying gold wedding rings and chains at pawn shops. These smaller amounts of gold became an effective way to purchase goods and services.

Over the years I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’ve often wondered about the practicality of owning a lot of gold coins if you’re planning on using that gold as a currency as the American dollar loses its value. Wouldn’t gold jewelry be just another way to “invest” in precious metals while giving you something pretty to wear as an added bonus?

  • You probably already have some jewelry coverage on your homeowners policy. Unless you already own a lot of valuable jewelry, your 24k gold will be covered. (Be sure to take photos and document what you have.)
  • Gold jewelry can easily be hidden under clothing and yet portable enough to take anywhere.
  • Everyone in the family can wear a bit of gold jewelry, just don’t become a suburban Mr. T. I suppose you could even dangle a gold charm or two from the dog’s collar!
  • Look for gold jewelry at estate sales but know what you’re looking for and how to make sure you’re getting the real thing.



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  1. 295linda says

    It is not unusual for jewelry stores to have a 150% to 200% mark-up on the scrap value of new sterling silver or gold alloy (10k, 12k, 14k, 18k) jewelry. If you want gold or silver jewelry as a kind of currency for barter during bad times, you are best off buying from pawn shops or estate sales so you can avoid most of the mark-up. Be sure to bring some kind of magnifier to check for markings that tell you the metal content (“sterling” or 925 for sterling silver or the karat content of gold alloy) and bring a tiny jeweler’s scale that has fresh batteries. Look up the current market value of pure silver and pure gold each day before you go shopping. Remember that sterling silver has 925 parts of pure silver out of 1000 parts (the rest is usually copper) and that the karat content of gold is based on the number of parts out of 24 (so 14K gold has 14 of 24 parts that is gold). So you will need to do some math after you have weighed an item to find out what the true scrap value is of a piece of jewelry. When buying gold or silver jewelry, ignore the claimed value of any precious or semi-precious stones in the jewelry — often these stones have less value per carat than the value of the per karat weight of the precious metal in which they are set. Unless you have an GIA certified jeweler along with you to do a spot appraisal never, never buy un-mounted gems stones as an investment. There’s just too much chicanery in the gem stone market and even an expert can be fooled by stones that have been dyed, heat treated, laser treated and injected with resins to improve color and clarity and conceal flaws. Old, plain band, wedding rings of gold or platinum can be a good investment if you can buy them at current scrap value — they are very sturdy and can be strung on a leather thong to go around your neck or waist so are highly portable.

    • says

      On top of that, I’d point out that the article’s recommendation of 24 carat gold jewellery – 100% pure – is wrong. Gold that pure is too soft for jewellery, so anyone claiming to buy or sell it in that form is either incompetent or trying to rip you off. You can get that purity as bullion, but even then it’s not suitable for coin and it’s often more convenient to provide bars that have been alloyed, too.

      • anarchyst says

        You are incorrect. 24K gold is NOT “too soft” for jewelry. In fact, you will find many Asian jewelry stores that have a large assortment of 24K jewelry.

      • says

        That may be true in America, but other countries have long made and sold 24K gold jewelry. My husband’s family lived on Guam for many years and these chains were very, very common there. 24K gold.

  2. Stealth Spaniel says

    Great article and video! We truly are going back to the days of future past. With so much interference from the government on buying gold and if you should be forced to “register” it, etc. I think that wearable wealth is a wonderful idea. It is a lot easier to transport-I think of the Italian couple who had their gold bars confiscated because it is illegal to remove gold from Italy.Are they still locked up? I think that any police action would be hard pressed to body search for gold jewelery and/or demand a “clearance of transport” for moving your wedding set to a new state. Jewelery can also be sewn into clothing and remain anonymous unless the clothing is ripped apart or some nice DHS member goes over it with a metal detector. One caution-NEVER/EVER put your jewelery in a safe deposit box! If another gold grab from the government comes up, you want your goods safe and unknown at home. Get a home safe and bolt it to the floor, hide it in a wall, make it look like an electrical box out in the garage. You want to be opsec secure and very grey. Gold chains hide really well until needed.

  3. Mike says

    This is nothing new… I have female Turkish friends who buy gold rings and bracelets when they have extra cash, and sell them when they want to buy something. It’s the normal way women in some cultures save their money without having to have a bank account. Gold jewelry and precious stones is also another way to exchange wealth without having to go through authorities or the banking system…

  4. says

    Replying doesn’t seem to be working right, so I’ll try here.

    Yes, of course “That may be true in America, but other countries have long made and sold 24K gold jewelry [sic]. My husband’s family lived on Guam for many years and these chains were very, very common there. 24K gold.” and “In fact, you will find many Asian jewelry [sic] stores that have a large assortment of 24K jewelry [sic]”. That does not mean that ‘You are incorrect. 24K gold is NOT “too soft” for jewelry [sic].’ It means that there is bad jewellery out there, and/or rip off merchants – which is just precisely what I pointed out.

    Let me recap and clarify. If jewellery really is 100% pure gold, it is not fit for purpose, i.e. use as ornamentation, as it will bend and wear far more than it should to last in that use. This is a physical fact, just as a gold coin of that purity would not last very well in circulation. You shouldn’t take my word for it, but rather you should research this for yourself.

    That does not stop anyone making it and calling it jewellery, any more than it stops proof coins of that purity being made. It just stops it being any use in that role. You can still buy it as a store of value, provided you remember that you cannot wear it safely (if you try, you will be wearing out its store of value). And, of course, you should remember that there are rip off merchants out there who would be quite happy to sell you 100% pure gold as though it were fit for that purpose – or less pure gold that really could be worn safely, as though it were really that pure and worth being priced that highly.

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