Q: Will the prices of gold and silver go up or down?
A: The answer is BOTH. What you need to see is the long-term trend and forget about the day to day, week to week NOISE.
If the governments of the world stop printing money, the price of precious metals will go down. However, in my opinion, there is way too much debt (both real and derivatives) to be paid off without printing money.
Q: Regarding 90% silver coins versus 40% silver coins, would the 40% coins retain the same value in a bartering situation? In other words, would it at least be valued at 40% of the price of silver?
A: I personally don’t like 40%. You are adding another variable for people to remember, and forget! For me, it’s easier to remember that coins minted in 1964 and prior are 90% silver. It’s much harder for me to remember that coins from 1965-1970 (and only in half-dollars) are 40%. Plus, the 40% halves have the “sandwich” look on the edge. You can see the alloy. When you look at a 90% coin, there is no ambiguity. It’s solid in color. This is only my opinion, but I don’t like the 40% coins.
Q: What about stocking up on nickels?
A: I know James Rawles recommends buying nickels, and he may be absolutely right. Personally, I don’t like nickels. War nickels are silver, but even I have to look up their content from time to time because I don’t see them every day. Imagine someone with no experience or reference materials trying to decide how much a nickel is worth. I prefer easy – 90% silver is very straightforward. Now if the nickel goes up in price, the coins may be good as an “investment”. In a collapse scenario, I do not like them. I very much respect Jim Rawles but would disagree with him here.
Q: If there is an economic collapse, what will be used as money?
A: Food, bullets, water, cigarettes, and booze (I especially like the airplane-size booze bottles.). Toilet paper, tools, fingernail clippers, etc. Anything that would be hard to find in the event of a collapse. Even diapers might be used as money. Think creatively!
Q: What’s the best form of precious metals in a collapse scenario?
A: Silver, those 90% silver dimes, quarters, halves, dollars, Silver Eagles, silver rounds – in that order, will be especially useful as a currency because they are all easily identifiable. Everyone knows that a 1960 dime, for example, is 90% silver, and it has the denomination right on the face of the coin. Fractional gold might also be a useful currency.
Q: What about sterling silver flatware? Could it be used as currency?
A: Typically, sterling silver is marked as “.925” but not always. The problem comes when trying to value the flatware. Will people have a scale to accurately weigh the flatware? When weighing the knives, how much of the flatware weight is the cement and rod in the handle? In my opinion, convert the sterling flatware to silver rounds, Silver Eagles, etc., but know that when you convert flatware to silver coins, you will only be paid anywhere from 75-85% of the melt value for your flatware. Our refiner, for example, gives us 86-88% of melt value for Sterling Silver flatware. In addition, some refiners won’t accept less than 500+ ounces of Sterling, thus placing a lot of market risk on dealers.
Here is an interesting caveat though. I have heard that the rich survived better during economic, social crises because of their silver flatware. Supposedly, the silver’s medicinal qualities protected against a lot of diseases. I personally want to research this more and am considering getting an old set of Sterling silver flatware to use as our main “silverware” just in case things go sideways.
Q: How do I find a legitimate precious metals dealer?
A: Ask a few key questions. How long have they been in business? What is their reputation? By the way, don’t bother with the Better Business Bureau because members get a good rating by paying them a fee. Call local coin dealers and see what they have to say. Compare prices and fees. There are some really good online retailers and some really bad ones.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered financial or investment adviser. Please do your due diligence because I do not share in your gains, or your losses! Research, research, research. This information is MY OPINION ONLY! I recommend to all my customers – do your homework, constantly!!!!
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