Should You Invest In “Junk Silver” and Other Precious Metals For Survival

Investing in Junk Silver CoinsI’ve noticed a lot of comments from readers asking about investing in precious metals as a hedge against inflation. Since this is a subject that I’ve not covered before on The Survivalist Blog, I thought I would share my views on the topic for you in today’s post.

But before we get into the how to do it (or at least how I do it), lets look at a few of the negative points of investing in metals and why I think you should invest mostly in other types of barter goods and survival gear.

Who Will Know…

To many people the value of junk silver coins for example, may not be conspicuous and it could be difficult to convince them that your coins are worth more than face value. Take your “Junk” Silver Quarters down to the nearest convenance store and try to get more than the face value at the checkout counter and you’ll see what I mean.

Money, gold, silver or whatever exchange medium you are using must be accepted before it is worth anything…

To get more than face value for your coins you’ll probably have to deal with a specialist, if not you had better be ready to explain what you have and why it is valuable to someone who has no idea of what you’re talking about. Good luck with that. When the stores are have been empty for weeks and Joe six-pack is down to his last can of green beans, don’t expect him to trade that can to you for your “junk” silver coin.

What Will It Be Really Be Worth…

Someone without food, medicine, shelter or a means of protection, will want those life-sustaining basics much more than any form of “money”. After all they can’t eat gold or silver, they can’t plant it, they can’t use it to provide energy, they can’t wear it. Basic needs must be taken care of first – for that reason, I look for the price of collectible metals to plummet after a far-reaching end of the world type event at least until people start to rebuild.

It comes down to the type of disaster and how bad things are after the fact that will decide if people see coins as valuable or not. But, people will always need to eat, drink, stay warm and be protected.

Think about it – the nation has been devastated by a widespread epidemic disease, millions are dead the economy, power grid and transportation have collapsed. Which would you rather have a .22 rifle and box of ammo or a hand full of gold coins? Who would trade you their .22 rifle and ammo for your pieces of metals?

I wouldn’t and I doubt your neighbours would either…

At best hoarding such metals would provide limited protection during an economic crisis with no guarantee of being able to trade for what you need when you need it. It’s best to already have what you need put away so you don’t have to go looking to exchange those pieces of metal for life-sustaining basics.

Gold and Silver Confiscation…

Literally tons of gold were ripped from the hands of ordinary Americans after Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the first law to seize certain precious metal assets during the Great Depression. Who can say for sure that it will not happen again?

I’ve read many comments on this and other survival blogs pondering the possibility of food confiscation and redistribution after disaster and while this is a possibility, I think we would be more likely to see the confiscation of metals such as gold and silver especially if the disaster is economic.

Laws such as the “Trading with the Enemy Act,” and the 1977 “International Emergency Economic Powers Act”  have opened the door for future confiscation. Remember; you can legally have only what the government says you can have and they can make you into an instant criminal with the stroke of a pen.

Don’t think because your assets are held in precious metals that your wealth is safe – you aren’t.

Should You Do It?

From my statements above you may think I’m against hoarding precious metals – I’m not. Just don’t go crazy collecting gold and silver coins, get your basic survival needs first.

Remember, you can’t eat a silver coin or gold, it can’t keep you warm, it can’t protect you from attack and you can’t live in it. On a personal survivability stand point it isn’t all that important…

What I Do and You Should Too

After you have your other survival needs taken care of you might want to invest some of your time collecting and hiding coinage – here is what I do…

From 1837 to 1964, United States ten-cent pieces were made of 90% silver and 10% copper—just like the Morgan Silver Dollar. I double-check all my pocket change for these – since pre 1964 dimes have become numismatic collectibles, I don’t find many this way but when I do I quickly put them away.

Similar to dimes, United States quarter-dollar pieces were also made of 90% silver and 10% copper from 1932 to 1964. I treat these in the same way as pre 1964 dimes. These quarter-dollar pieces are exactly 2.5 times as heavy as silver dimes and obviously have more value.

Aside from checking your pocket change, you can buy junk silver coins at a mark-up, but I would rather get them for free. Creekmore, how in the Sam Hill do you get them for free you ask – with a metal detector, of course. You would be amazed at what you can find with these.

I like to look around old home places (with permission) schools, churches, parks and fair grounds. Do your research and keep in mind that you’ll have to hunt the older places to find quality coins – look for areas that were in use before 1964 and you will have a better chance at finding the coins that you are looking for.

This is how, I’ve found the bulk of my junk silver coins and an approach worth considering for anyone interested in putting back junk silver coins against the day of need. A good book to help you get started if you’re interested in doing this is Metal Detecting for the Beginner.

I also save all of my nickels – the composition of a nickel has been unchanged since the end of World War II in that it is still a 5 gram coin made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, with the metal value being worth more than the face value of the coin. Check for the current value.

What Do You Think?

Should collecting metals be a top priority? What are you doing? Let use know in the comments below…


  1. Tomthetinker says:

    Hey MD: I’ve got an old brown baked bean pot sitting on the floor of my ‘office’. In it goes what ‘silver’ I find and what I buy off of fellas at work who always have a need to sell it. I have a mason jar right next to the bean pot into which I drop all the found silver and gold jewelry I see laying around the town…. yeah just layin out there where some soul dropped it or popped it out of their ear…. As to the ‘coinage’ I drop in on once in a while to see what the real value is.. PRIORITY…. nopper! I got the feeling that somebody that is trying to ‘buy’ me off with a hand full of dimes or a wedding ring really has nothing I need or want. I’d be backing off watching their hands.

  2. It depends on what each person thinks is going to happen. If you were a Jew in pre-WWII Germany, then gold (high value, easily moved) to bribe border guards, ferry captains, store of value for the new residence, etc. was the right choice. If you see a One Second After scenario then ‘preps first, PMs second’. Total economic collapse: there will be a barter system and one of the things bartered will be real coinage. And there will be money changers, so the whole ‘1 oz of gold to too much value to buy a loaf of bread’ argument is void. As a general rule, you can’t go much wrong with ‘preps first’, though.
    All this is assuming you’re on the “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” plan.
    I know there’s something I forgot in my preps (just don’t know what it is yet), or something that breaks, and a little silver is going to be good to have.
    FDR: he did not steal people’s gold, but he did take it and paid people $20.xx / oz. His profit came a couple months later when he revalued the price of gold to $35 / oz. Some people call that stealing … I call it semantics.

    • And do an internet search for “fake silver dollars” before placing a lot of fiat down on them.

  3. M.D. – Another well written, relevant post! I couldn’t agree more about the functionality of silver, gold or any other type of precious metal… In my oppinion, I only see these resources being valuable in some type of economic disaster…

    Apart from that, I think these resources will be fairly useless and certainly not as practical as having a stockpile of basics such as food, water purification gear, weapons/ammo, etc.

    • LarryMoReady says:

      Ditto on the stockpile of the basics. It depends on the type of disaster that happens I suppose. Being diverse might be the best thing to be and not putting all your resources in one location should be healthier for survival. I can’t see carrying a sack of coins with me to get things but the barter system works on many situations with a safer potential outcome. Once you open up your purse full of coins then you are the mark for a robbery or body damage. Again, it depends on the type of area or situation you see yourself in.

  4. Franklin Sanders is suggesting that people start using their silver for everyday trade again.
    And you know I’m actually seriously thinking about it.
    Using silver for trade would put silver back into circulation and we’d all be a lot better off if you ask me.
    Here’s what I’m thinking for myself :
    1 Fat 800 lb.Market Steer – 20 to 24 VF Morgan or Peace Dollars
    1 95 lb. Market lamb – 3 VF Morgan or Peace Dollars
    #5 Pounds Tomatoes – 1 VF Franklin or Walking Liberty Half Dollar
    #10 Grass Fed Hamburger – 1 VF Morgan or Peace Dollar
    1 Dozen Eggs – 1 VF Mercury Dime
    1 Bantam hen – 1 VF Washington Quarter
    You get the idea.
    We start using real money between ourselves and leave the “funny money” to pay back the Federal Reserve, IRS and other rascals …we just might take our Nation back :-)

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      I’m not sure there is enough silver or gold remaining in this country to accommodate all the things and services we need to live our lives these days. With a population of over 300 million, we’d have to have a large chunk of the known silver and gold in the world. Do we even have any gold left in Fort Knox? I bet not.

      I like your thinking, though. I wish we could return to a gold and silver-based monetary system.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Granny Miller
      You stated, “Using silver for trade would put silver back into circulation”, but I’m not sure that it would. What I think it would do is move silver from those who have it, to others who would keep it for a rainy day. When the Sacagawea “Golden” Dollars were put into circulation, the US Mint arranged for Wal-Mart to have something like 300,000 of them to pass out as change. 300,000 put into circulation all over the country in less than a week, and I rarely see one in circulation. These are a copper core clad in an alloy of copper, zinc, manganese, and Nickel, and are not worth all that much, but for some reason folks still keep them tucked away like they’ll someday be worth something. I suspect the same would be true for those foolish enough to spend their “junk” silver.

      • What I had in mind was trading with like minded people who have and understand precious metals.
        The actual circulation would be a relatively small pool of people exchanging goods in services at a local level.

        Example you & I live in the same community:
        You pay me a 3 silver dollars for a pig.
        The next week I pay you 10 silver dollars to fix my gutter.
        Next month you pay your cousin 2 silver dollars to fix your truck.
        The week after that your cousin pays me 1 silver quarter to cut his hair.
        The following month I pay your wife a silver half dollar for yard sale stuff.
        The hard money stays in the community and we are all trading/bartering in a form of exchange that we all have and approve of.
        It’s a theory and it would have to start slow but it might work. Now making change might be a problem …..
        No matter somebody would figure out how to make change. Hard money is only as good as the commodities or services that it will buy. And M.D. Creekmore is right on- you can’t eat silver :-)

        • OhioPrepper says:

          This could actually be done without trading any hard asset. You just need a secretary, treasurer, scribe, or whatever you want to call the function, who keeps track of the transactions at an agreed upon value for “credits”. There are barter clubs that do this today.

          • OP –
            I think I understand what you are saying. It would be a return to a more agrarian/labor exchange system.
            But then why own precious metals?
            What good are they?
            Are they only good for trading beyond your local area and network?

            Suppose I don’t have anything goods or service that you want – but you have something I want? How do I get it?

            • Richard Muszynski says:

              greetings. in barter many times it is not one thing for another. one may have to trade what they have for something someone else has that wants what you have. even though it is not what you want you may be able to trade that for something that you do want. main thing about money is it made this so much easier as a medium of exchange.

          • Tomthetinker says:

            OP: Caution is a good thing. Hey folks… surf around in here on supply and demand in the gold and silver market! There are more paper funds and ‘depository’ dealers out there ‘selling’ silver and gold than there is actual ‘metal’ to cover. I’m saying that there are more ‘contracts’ to deliever on demand than there is metal to …. deliever. Gold can be covered if… you can get someone else who owns it to cover the contract you have with ‘somebody’ else…. Silver…. not physicaly possible. If you really want it in you preps.. You Must have it in your hands not on paper or over the phone to ‘- – -line or L- – – Capital etc.

        • Richard Muszynski says:

          Greetings. ever read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand? what you describe is how the main charactors in the book traded with each other. Actually Atlas Shrugged is a really enlightening novel written many years before any of what she depicted in it occured. and it is still occuring all around us now. Seems to me Ayn Rand believed in the old belief that there are two ways to see things in this world. one is a open hand with a bird sitting on it. that is illusion. you do not have the bird, only the chance of one. the other is a bird being held in a closed hand. that one is reality. you actually have the bird and it can’t fly away. basic Zen philosopy. but realistically i would go with more useful metals like steel or some other metal not as expensive to get and useful for many things. something like salt or fish hooks. needles or .22 Long Rifle cartridges. messy having to use a money changer to convert super expensive gold to something that can be traded itself for things. that sounds suspiciously like converting it back to fiat money.

  5. Mountain lady says:

    What I have in coinage I bought for Y2K. Once in a while I find sterling silver candlesticks and bowls at Goodwill for almost nothing. I still pick them up. Otherwise, I spend all my prep money building up a food supply. Growing veggies here is dependent on water, and that is going to questionable in the future.

    By the way, because of robbers using metal detectors, hide your coins in the pantry where the cans will drive them crazy. They still may find your coins, but maybe not.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Mountain lady,
      sterling silver candlesticks and bowls at Goodwill ? Who would have thought. Thanks for the tip.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      You’re a smart lady to hunt through thrift shops for sterling silver.

      Yard sales are sometimes good places to find real deals on sterling silver, too. Also, I’ve found 14k gold jewelry and .925 (sterling) silver jewelry for real cheap at yard sales. And once I bought a silver half-dime for the price of 10 cents at a yard sale that I sold for $10.00 later the same day.

      Yessiree, I like thrift shops and yard sales. Sometimes it pays big dividends to make friends with the owners of the nearest thrift shop. I’ve done that, and they will set aside things for me and give me first chance to buy stuff that I want.

  6. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Great topic!

    Precious Metals (PMs) are not a high priority for me. Food, clothing, shelter, gear, and skills are far more important. However, if you have to get transportation out of an area and the airplane pilot only accepts gold or silver or diamonds, then you’ll probably wish you had some to give him. There will always be somebody who wants payment in PMs over cans of beans. Always. For that reason, it’s best to have PMs as well as other barter goods. But as MD said, get the beans, bullets, and bandaids first – then start working on the PMs.

    I have been metal detecting for 12 years and finding silver coins is getting harder and harder to do because there are many 10s of thousands of people out there looking for the same things. I think metal detecting may come in handy during a SHTF situation, but maybe not for acquiring PMs. Instead, I’d buy silver and gold buillion coins (Silver Eagle in the USA or Maple Leaf in Canada, for example) or junk silver coins (pre-1964 dimes, quarters, halves) when the price of silver dips. I’d avoid silver dollars because the price for them is usually higher than the equivalent face value in the other coins. Keep in mind that the purchase price will include a premium – a profit – for the seller over and above the spot price of silver.

    The silver price has had dips even during the incredible run-up of the past few years. So buy on the dips from a reputable coin dealer or from a reputable seller at your local gun show. Buying lower denomination pre-1964 US coins is usually a safe bet because they are easily recognized, have a face value stamped on them (so they will most likely always be worth at least their face value), and contain enough silver to make them intrinsically valuable. You could buy silver buillion coins from a private mint, but be sure the mint is reputable, that the “coins” are marked with the mint’s name and the purity of the metal is indicated on the “coin.” The purity would be symbolized by something like .999 silver or .9999 pure silver, or something similar.

    Now here’s something that people need to know about confiscation, at least as it was done in the Great Depression. Coins that were part of a numismatist’s (coin collector’s) collection were exempt from confiscation. So this is why so many of the wealthy people of this country buy numismatically valuable coins – not just junk silver. IOW, they will buy gold quarter dollars – one from each year and mint (that’s a collection), or silver eagles – one from each year (that’s a collection), or double eagles ($20.00 gold coins) that can be considered a collection if they are all error coins (coins with mistakes on them). You have to be smarter than the government, and sometimes that isn’t too difficult. So have a collection of coins, not just a bag of junk silver.

    PMs may not be a hedge against inflation. And they may not make a good investment. I see precious metals as payment when fiat currency is no longer accepted at the corner store or for the heating oil bill. Even if the price plummets for gold or silver, those metals have never been worthless, whereas paper money has no real value and can therefore be entirely worthless.

    In lieu of PM’s, anybody can save pre-1982 cents (they are truly copper cents whereas cents minted from 1983 to today are actually zinc with a copper coating) and nickels from any year. These coins are already worth more in their metal content than their face value. Melting them down is currently illegal, but they may be better barter items than a can of beans when the guy you’re dealing with has all the beans he can eat for the rest of his life.

    Bottom line, caching some PMs can be part of the survivalist’s plan if the priorities are covered first (beans, bandaids, bullets). And if the PMs are too expensive, then cache some modern coinage because at least modern American coinage has nickel and copper content, which is worth more than our paper money. If nothing else, a box of zinc pennies is going to be worth more than a box of dollar bills sometime in the near future. Count on it.

    One more point about coins: they are very heavy. Bugging out with a coin collection could be very cumbersome – plan accordingly and plan ahead.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      You stated “Coins that were part of a numismatist’s (coin collector’s) collection were exempt from confiscation” and that is true; however, past performance is not indicative of future performance. This re-distribute the wealth and stuff health care down your throat against your will administration might not see it the way FDR did. Remember that for these folks, the ends justify the means.
      Then there is the matter of who will turn them in. If you have PM that was acquired in cash and you keep your OPSEC, and have a good hidey hole for them. Well . . . :)

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Right, OP, that’s why I stated that coin collections were exempt from confiscation “…at least during the Great Depression.” I didn’t intend to imply it would be the same now. All bets are off these days.

        Regarding your last paragraph – :))) A big 10-4 to that. And not on the home turf.

        • Yep lintpicker. All bets are off with our kenyan in chief. That clown will try to run anything by decree that suits his fancy. or he will appoint some czar to do his bidding. Steve

  7. OhioPrepper says:

    Well stated. I personally don’t think that in a post SHF situation that junk silver will be all that hard to trade, since a lot of the folks still functioning will be preppers like all of us. Junk silver and 1 oz silver coins are probably our best bet, because as a coin, they have an identifiable intrinsic value. Silber rounds and bars, even though they are stamped .999 1 Troy oz may take a little more persuading. Most of what I’ve collected in the junk area has been picked up like yours, by simply paying attention to change that I get back from purchases, It’s not often, but every now & then, one still makes it into circulation.
    As for gold, assuming you can afford full 1 oz coins, it might be tough to get anyone to make change, kind of like paying for a burger and fries at McDonalds with a $100.00 bill. Here I think 1/10 or 1/20 oz are the way to go. As for Nickels and pre-1982 pennies, you can get them now with no premium, and they’ll always be worth at least the face value that you paid for them.
    In a post SHF situation you need to remember one thing about these items of stored wealth. You can eat them, they won’t keep you warm, and unless you’re casting your own silver bullets, they offer no protection. You need to first get all of the 3 B’s in place, plus additional clothing, blankets, seeds, and tools. Think of the things you’ll need post SHF that others may need and not have. Something as simple as a hammer and a box of nails may be worth a small fortune to the right person and a few oz of silver or 1/20 oz of gold at current prices will buy several hammers and a lot of nails. The other things to go along with commodities are skills. Being able to teach someone how to shoot, or do basic carpentry, or trap game, or keep bees, or etc… may give you a good post SHF business. If you think back in the pioneers days, many doctors not only made house calls, but were often paid in chickens, eggs, or bread,
    The key is to think out of the box and be flexible.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      OP said, “The key is to think out of the box and be flexible.” That single sentence is probably the most important factor in survival. Well stated, OP!

  8. My general take on the subject is, if you are going to keep some (fiat) cash at home for emergency (a few hundred or a few thousand), have an equal amount (or more) of silver or gold. American Silver Eagles are my preference, since they are more “official” looking than generic silver billion, and should not be mistaken for worthless metal coins like junk silver might. However, with the rising price of silver, Eagles might be too valuable for many transactions, so junk silver coins would be a great alternative.

  9. blindshooter says:

    I’m just trying to keep a roof over my head and enough food to keep me going for a while if things fall apart. I am in the slow decline camp, but lately it looks like the world situation is getting worse and that could speed things up (or down) here in the US. If I had any real amount of silver or gold I’d sell it and pay off debt and buy food.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Prepping is about attitude and priorities. These are different for each of us, and you seem to have yours in order.

  10. Good post Mr. Creekmore. I think gold and silver will be of little use or demand during anything but an economic collapse, for everything else it will be worthless.

  11. Kit Carson says:

    As Kurt Saxon once said:

    “Investing in intangibles: Gold, silver, diamonds, antiques,
    paintings, etc. are dependent for their value on desire, not need.
    When need is the uppermost consideration, desire is simply a
    frivolous emotion. In order to exchange your intangibles for your
    needs you will have to wait until surplusses are built up. In the
    meantime, say you approach a farmer and offer him a $600 Krugerrand for its value in chickens. If you’re lucky he may offer you a $600 chicken.”

    • I would disagree with Mr. Saxon. Gold and silver have been used and accepted for thousands of years as a medium of exchange, desire has nothing to do with it. If you have a chicken and need ammo and I have a bushel of potatoes no exchange is going to be made. But if I give you silver for that chicken, you can go to Ethel and buy the ammo.
      And surpluses are not the issue, need is the issue. If you need something, you will look at what you have and can do without even though it is not a produced surplus. If you need a firing pin for your gun, you would exchange your rice even though you’d rather not. Value is relative, you place a higher value on acquiring the firing pin than your rice. Someone else may be really hungry and cannot eat a firing pin they have.
      Gold and silver (money) make the exchange of goods easier. By pricing goods in a common unit, there does not need to be a perfect match of people with the needed goods for an exchange to occur.

      Diamonds, art, etc. are not money.

      • Kit Carson says:

        David you are a funny guy (completly wrong and missing the point) but funny.

        • Could you at least inform me how I’m wrong, and what the point was? If you want to engage on the issues that’s fine, but your passive-aggressive comment about me is out of line.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Actually, money which is really just liquid barter can be in many forms, as long as the forms are agreed upon by the population doing the barter. There are barter clubs around that don’t use any physical money, but simply keep track of the value of goods and services which are traded. You earn credit for work or goods, and that credit can be spent with anyone in the club. We both have credit accounts and you give me a chicken and then I transfer an appropriate amount of credit from my account to your account. Simple enough and nothing physical involved. Also note that credits may not be created out of thin air like the fed prints or creates money. The one downside of this in the modern era is that the IRS has gotten involved and wanted to tax people on their imputed income, but then I guess they are comfortable dealing with money that has no physical presence.

        • Jim (toledo) says:

          I agree with David here. Currency makes bartering much easier and universal regardless of what society determines their currency should be (whether cash, silver, eggs, gold, etc). The “barter clubs” that OhioPrepper mentions are an interesting idea, but I think there is a certain appeal of having something tangible, ie. able to hold in your hand, than something intangible. If an EMP wiped out all the bank accounts and electronics, the credit histories of these barter clubs might be lost (if they were electronic), wheras your silver bullion would still be in your safe.

  12. Survival Sam says:

    If someone tries to trade me 10 gold coins for my AR-15 I will end up with both – wink. To be honest what good is gold and silver? What practical use does it have? Why is it valuable? It is of no more real use than a common rock.

    • Actually, gold and silver are used in manufacturing. They both are conductors of electricity. Silver more than gold. Silver is also used in the making of certain computer components. That’s why it was slowly going up before our fiscal disaster. Most countries that build computers and cell phones (Not the US) were booming and putting out more technology than ever before, so the price of silver was going up anyway. I don’t buy junk silver or any kind of coin outside the normal currency. I keep all coins at this point from change and such. I figure if something happens, money is either going to be worth something (face value) or it isn’t. At least I have the melt value. If nothing happens, I have $$: nickels, dimes, dollar coins, pennies, etc. It’s still money.
      I also agree that what you have to trade will only be worth what the person on the other end of the deal sees in it.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Hey Sam… please rethink your opening line! I don’t think you ment it as some may have taken it…. WINK! PMs are simply the hope…. trust…. we all would like to have in the value presented. The value in PMs…. the work represented in getting them in front of you! Hard for nearly everyone to get their head around. PMs represent work… effort… the part of your very life you spent.. to get them. Your AR-15 represents what part of your life? How long did you have to crack your hump to buy it? It’s not God, goodness or faith…. it is… the hard work.. effort.. what incredible beauty that can be ‘made’ out of it that you accept. Would any of us accept a fella or a family busting there collective humps in your garden for a season, or putting up a pole barn as payment for the ‘AR-15’? No, I don’t think I’m getting off point here. By the way…. this post has prompted me to take my mason jar of ‘junk silver’ down to the local coin exchange here in Toledo and mail off the proceeds to for a 20inch, fluted Stainless bull barrel AR Upper, with vortex suppessor and flip up sights. Think about the train of events that lets me do that.

    • The bible states that in the last days people will be throwing thier money into the streets. I have a feeling that it will come soon.So precious metals will still have some value. For a time. Steve

  13. M.D. this is some very good advise. I agree with you, you should have a little silver and gold and also have some extra prep’s to use for barter. By not putting all your eggs in one basket you have the opportunity to either buy extra food and supplies or barter for them with your extra prep’s. Great post.

  14. Shootingblanks00 says:

    What a coincidence. I just bought a roll of BU 1960 quarters today, about an hour before I read today’s post. Paid a decent price to boot, not too much over spot.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      May I ask where you bought them? I mean in general, like Coin Shop Pawn Shop, Gun Show, private individual, etc. Just looking for ideas.

      • Shootingblanks00 says:

        I bought them on ebay from a company i have bought other rolls from premiumtickets or something like that

        • Tomthetinker says:

          OP: Toledo Coin Exchange on Monroe Street. Drop by and tell one of the guys your there to buy… as the golden hoard you will be surrounded by are all sitting around the walls waiting for their turn to sell.

  15. Sounds like reasonable advice to me.

  16. Shootingblanks00 says:

    Forgot to mention that my wife handles alot of coin at work and found a silver half-dollar, silver quarter and silver time while counting change. I told her how much those 3 coins were worth and she was amazed. She has been looking for a little while now but from now on, she is going to pay more attention lol

  17. Dean in Michigan says:

    I have to agree with blindshooter…….(except for the slow decline part)…..

    But….the price of gold and silver right now is high. Cash in now while you can. This will boost your preps.

    I’ve seen a few comments that said this stuff would only be good after a total economic collapse. To me that doesn’t make sense. If there was a “total economic collapse”, then the world would be in trouble. Yes, this will increase the value of your PM’s. However, it will take awhile for the world economy to stabilize, and only then will your PM’s really be worth anything. In the mean time, you’ll be lucky to see that day.

    And yes, there will be the select few who will trade for PM’s. IMOP, most won’t. In a dire situation though, when one must GOOD, and you come across a situation like Lint Picker described with the pilot, then I can think of only one saying…………..”God made men, and Sam Colt made them equal.”

  18. Good post, MD.

    I agree. It is better, I think, to look after the items that will give you an economic benefit in the case of a collapse. Particularly in the case of a global economic collapse, I believe that you should consider your basics- food, shelter, clothing and (after a brush with a crazed road-rager, the other day) protection.

    Next, comes a means for making an income if you live in a community and want to contribute (and in turn be compensated). In a town I used to live in, the older homes had signs displaying the employment of the original builders from one-hundred years ago. No ‘marketing analysts’, but a lot of butchers, bakers, cattle men, doctor, vets, carpenters, blacksmiths, cheesemakers and shopkeepers.

    • dort-munder says:

      has anyone thought of or invested in gunsmith training for before (hobby, part-time or retirement employment) or a collapse skill? I’ve been thinking about this lately…

  19. I have an ugly suspicion that when things go really bad, if you go to the grocery store with a $20 gold coin, you will get $20 worth of food…in other words, ‘face value’. It won’t be hard to confiscate it because it will eventually end up at a bank, and bankers know what to do with it. When the time comes, every area will have a good accountant type who will start a barter bank and ‘cash’ in whatever form will only be necessary for paying taxes and mortgages.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Helga helga helga: I have the ugly suspicion that your ugly suspicion is the nail with the shiny head….. dead on! Pennys, nickels… ‘coins’ could be just collected at face value within a ‘system’ that still accepts fiat/paper money. PMs…. mayhaps shine…. brighter in a situation…. with out a ‘system’…

  20. Christine R says:

    Not knowing what will happen or in what direction the world and economy will change, I tend not to put all my eggs in one basket. I have several forms of each type of prep and money is no exception. Money in the bank, emergency cash reserve at home, emergency cash reserves at two other strategic locations, plastic of course, and a collection of silver coins, plus silver and gold jewelry and other items. None of which is meant as the be-all of any situation. I have a plan for any type of “run” on banks or groceries. In fact, I will not be at the grocery store panic buying food items, but at my nearby combination Ace Hardware and Sporting Goods store buying up extra fuel, batteries, freeze dried foods, tools, ammo, etc. If there is a power outage that is not recognized as permanent, I will have available plastic, paper cash and then silver coin in that order with enough left over for barter later down the line if it’s still accepted as it was in Argentina.

  21. Just a thought- gold silver or fiat-money dropped on the ground may distract a “goblin” long enough for you to defend your life.In that sense it will always have value especially gold.

  22. highdesertlivin says:

    Being prepared is the key , Have money in your retirement ,have cash , have bullion , and have ”preps” otherwise you have a chink in your armour. Hello murphy . Be safe.

  23. Youj’re right in that thegovernment can make owning silver and gold against the law.

    They could do the same thing with guns.

  24. I agree with you MD, I have been saying you cannot eat silver or gold.
    However, if anyone has the money to invest in them fine.
    But I was told once that certain gold they will not recall. I can’t remember which it is now but if anyone is going to invest in it, plan to ask about which it is that will not be recalled.
    Also, I have heard that the elite people who have more money then they will ever be able to spend, do not mess with paper bills. And I have been reading lately that some businesses, even here in America, will not accept the dollar any more, in fact I saw some videos that showed signs in windows that said “The dollar is not accepted here” and some said they would only accept certain currencies. People realize that the dollar is dying and the several economists are saying it will be dead by 2012 if not before. Of course if you have the money to buy the liberty gold coins, then it would be good to pay property taxes with so as not to lose your house or some other larger payment. Any extra funds I have are going in to food and, a grinder and things I need to use the food. I am trying to figure how to store water for drinking and cooking. They say each person should have a half or one a gallon per person, and 6 months at a gallon per person would be 180 gallon. That is a lot of gallons of water! Not very many of us would have the room for all that.

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      greetings. no way one can store enough water for a long period of time. to bulky and impossible to transport because of both weight and bulk. so you have to learn how to process water sources to make them safe. water is the most common thing on our planet that has about 4/5 of it water on the surface. lots of ways one can process water to make it safe. check up on how so you can pick what would work in your expected area to survive in. one pretty good choice is rain water unless they start the nuclear war they seem to lust after so much.

  25. Shootingblanks00 says:

    This has been one of the better topics and discussions I have seen in a while. It seems that there is alot of attention on the collaspe and not so much as what is going to happen after. That is what I would like to see more of. Am I going to need to get out of here or stick it out? Where will I go to be able to use silver. If we survive through the first wave of stupidy and move on to the next stage, how is this societygoing to be set up? How will we know who we can trust and who we can’t? Who is going to be the leader and how is he going to become leader? You see where elections have got us. lol Is all we are supposed to be concentrating on is prepping? I mean beside family and work and what not but who sits down and plans how he or she is going to do things after the collaspe? I like the idea of becoming a gunsmith. I really enjoy making my own ammo even if I don’t get to use what I make often enough. Would probably make more money as a gunsmith than being a computer tech, at least that way you’ll be working with something to defend yourself. I don’t think throwing a laptop would be a good “stopper”. So many questions but there aren’t that many people around that have lived through a collaspe and are giving lectures or speaches about how it is going to be. Too much uncertanty. Too many scenarios.

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      greetings. old saying nothing is static, it all changes constantly. so no way to plan for a future because by the time you get it, it will have changed. have to be flexible or as they say here in the north you have to be able to wear many hats. learn as much as possible about things that do not depend on a organized civilization to work. that you can count on being one of the things that will go. the organized society.

  26. I sold off a couple ounces of gold on Ebay to pay all the expenses related to the new baby. Accounting for what I originally paid for the bullion and inflation, I ended up getting what I needed for around 50% off.

    I still buy gold in grams and buy silver here and there and I also have a box of certified gem stones that I have kept over the years. I’ve made a pretty good profit off of this but I don’t see it as a barter item or something to be used in a disaster – its mainly something I collect to pass down to the kids. It might come in handy for paying property taxes or dealing with someone who insists on taking payment in hard currency though. If I need it I have it, if I don’t need it – it still has its use.

    So far my best performing investment has been becoming self sufficient. Each investment made in this category frees up more cash that can be converted to other investments and reduces our need for cash at the same time. I don’t know how my stock investments or gold holdings will perform over the next several years, but I do know that initial investment in my gardens and orchard will produce hundreds of dollars in produce year after year as long as I continue to garden.

    As for bartering during a currency collapse, see my previous statement. I focus on learning trades and producing products that are lacking in my neighborhood and establish trade relationships with neighbors that have the ability to produce what I need. As time goes on and I become more skilled at homesteading, many of those relationships will be redundant because I will be able to produce many of those products myself.

  27. Silver and gold have been used for money for what seems like all time. It is not going away. Yes make sure you have all your supplies and preps but you still need to diversify. I want to but at least 4oz. of pure silver for my preps. Look into the web site National Inflation Association, these people have been watching our economy and the world and have been spot on about there predictions. Also M.D. you already did an article about how the goverment won’t go away and if thats true then there will still be a economy of sorts that takes money of some sort and not bullets or chickens to barter. When inflation hits normal people aren’t gonna know anything else but precious metals.

  28. Luddite Jean says:

    Good article, MD!

    In the UK, we don’t have the option of checking loose change because older coins were taken out of circulation when we went decimal. However, you can sometimes find pre-1947 silver coins at boot sales and charity shops for less than the silver value.

    What we do have, however, is hundreds (if not thousands) of silver ‘ingot’ pendants that were made and bought in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Now times are hard, people are selling them on eBay. I keeping looking (if I have spare money!) for the ugly or damaged ones which often sell for less than the spot price. They come in sizes from an eighth of an ounce, up to one ounce (although I have one monster one at two ounces). Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a few, as as silver is performing better than my pension, I could use them for income when I retire, but if the SHTF, I’ve got useful sized chunks of silver which are clearly hallmarked.

  29. Good take on it,Creekmore. I too find a good portion of mine. Me and my trusty 6000DI pro older model but great coin shooter find a lot of coins. I used to ignore copper penny’s but now will probably save them as well. I think PM’s should be a part of preps,but after beans,bullets,band aids.


  30. M.D. by reading the comments it looks like some of the people commenting thing there is only one kind of collapse and that it must economic in nature. People there are other types of disaster besides an economic collapse and some of these would be much worse. Economic collapse is just one possibility. People this is not an economic collapse blog it is a survival blog.

    “At best hoarding such metals would provide limited protection during an economic crisis with no guarantee of being able to trade for what you need when you need it.”

    Well said M.D. and I could not agree more.

    • Zimbabwe collapsed and the citizens there had to find gold to buy things not food or ammo. They where also a society that used bartering very much but they still had to use gold. People are going to eat food and save ammo not use it to barter with.

  31. joe tent peg says:

    All things are cyclical. Eventually the situation we’re in will change. That’s when you can use PM to buy residential real estate. Folks will always need a roof over their heads. If things are still tough, tenants can barter with food, ammo, etc. for rent.
    Check out “How to invest in Gold and Silver” from the Rich Dad/Poor Dad Book series for more info.

  32. Alex (Canada) says:

    I have a satisfactory (In my opinion) amount of coins that I have collected over the years because I practically never use my change. Tell me however, what do you think things like pennies and loonies will be worth? I mean they are not silver, at least not in Canada but still.

  33. On the off chance that comment #57 of this thread will get read, here are my brief thoughts.

    Gold’s too expensive for me, so I have almost none.

    Silver’s a good inflation hedge, and I suspect will remain so, and it’s easy to convert back into fiat money, if necessary.

    I only buy silver coins, typically on eBay, and I only buy ’em when I can get them, including shipping, for less than the spot price. It’s fun, and I only spend small amounts of cash, which I might well lose or spend foolishly otherwise.

    I keep all nickels, and sort my pennies for pre-’82 ones. I’ve just started buying rolls of halves at the bank, in the hope of finding ’65 to ’70 40% Kennedys … or earlier 90%ers! Anybody having any luck with that?

    Great blog! Thanks.

    • This is very much what we are doing. I buy off ebay for less than spot too. If I get outbid, no problem.
      We’re also keeping nickels and pre-’82 pennies.

  34. Richard Muszynski says:

    greetings. again i am on a different page it seems. silver, you can connect a silver piece, no matter what analysis, to a electric hook up. using one of the small transformers that come with a lot of electronic or electric things. set the piece with one wire connected to the output of the transformer and the piece suspended in water with a touch of salt in it. run the other wire to the water solution and apply electricity to the transformer and you will be turning the water mix to a silver subatomic suspension that is a excellent anti biotic for when such things are no longer available. so a silver coin could be converted to silver water and save your life from infection. or someone elses. how much would you pay for some medicine that could save your life from someone who has it? depends on what you think your life is worth, does it not?

    • Luddite Jean says:

      Good point, Richard. Silver can help you live longer and healthier. In times past, people “born with a silver spoon in their mouths” i.e. the rich, were much healthier because they ate with silver cutlery and from silver plates, thereby ingesting minute particles of silver which protected their health.

      One of the reasons for the rise in silver price recently has been because of new fabrics containing silver for medical reasons, plus medications containing silver.

      • SurvivalistWoman says:

        My Grandfather told me that back in the day they use to add a silver dollar (morgan or peace) to their drinking water bucket to disinfect it….who would have thought it ? I for one think we will always be able to trade silver and gold, its just greedy human nature to want it, there will be those fools out there after whatever disaster happens that will want it, bet on it.

  35. If someone breaks into my house after the SH’sTF, I will give them my best precious metal – lead.

    It may not fetch much on the open market per ounce but will have far more value than all of the rest combined.

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      greetings. got lead and a mold and some fixins to make black powder and you can go a mighty long way towards old age. besides lead though one should get in some tin to harden it so one can cast high speed bullets as well.

  36. I do a lil of this, but not having much to save, I usually buy ammo or componants. I too search my change, and I also seperate my pennys into pre and post 82. anything post 82 gets rolled and cashed out as they are fairly worthless. Pre 82s are 95% copper that is on the rise, a copper penny right now is almost 3cents and has been higher than four cents before. Nickels are the best pour mans bullion due to the fact that it is closest in metal value to face value so when it goes up, it worth more and hedges against the inflation. I like copper because if it gets bad enough I WILL swage them into bullets and send the m downrange! However the shear copper value makes them worth more than face value. theroadwarri0r(that last o is a zero) of youtube fame, has a great video on this and very good explanation of greshams law.

  37. What about .999% copper coin & bullion or even another “pure” metal like molybdenum, I’ve seen this before and wondering about their value post SHTF ? Also what is molybdenum and what is it used for ?

    • DesertMadness says:

      Molybdenum is used in making steel alloys. i.e. Chrome moly steel.
      Silver will always have value to someone with mechanical skills. You can pound a quarter into a tooth if need be…

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      greetings. molybdenum or Moly as it is commonly called is a metal that is in Swedish ore that they make into steel. which is why Swiss arm knives can hold such a out of sight edge. makes steel tough as well as imparting the ability to hold an edge nearly forever. but high temp alloying of steels is not something that you can do easily in your back yard. factory work that.

    • For some reason my replies are being erased.
      Moly is used to harden a piece of metal and to make it heat resistant. Some of the welding rod we sell has it in it. It gets more complicated than that but that would take a metalurgist to explain.

  38. Folks – the U.S. is in a slow economic collapse RIGHT NOW. No pandemics, no dirty bombs, no cities burning. PM’s are ideal in a SLOW economic collapse. In a rapid SHTF situation such as an intense solar flare or pandemic, they would not be much use. Because we are IN a slow economic collapse – with no viable solutions in sight, I suggest every prepper have at least a little.

    No, you can’t eat metals – but they are excellent for bribing officials. I’ve had two friends – one a Vietnamese boat person, the other a refugee from Pol Pot’s Cambodia – both of them were insistent on having pm’s available for bribes. They also bought guns as soon as they arrived – gun ownership by civilians had been prohibited in Communist Vietnam, and Cambodia.

  39. The arguments for or against buying precious metals is moot to me- I can’t afford it anyway. I spend all my prep money on stuff I might actually use myself, or barter. In the meantime, I am trying to learn skills that could help me earn a living in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. You all will pay me in gold and silver for my moonshine, fruit wine, honey mead, “smoking blends”, and herbal medicine concoctions.
    Having said that, I do save my pre-’64 coinage. Not sure what I’m gonna do with it, though.

  40. SrvivlSally says:

    M.D., you have the layout of first, prepping and then, saving coinage right. I think that it would be a good idea to have some money on hand but if it is valuable such as metals can be and there is any kind of market for it then it would be expected that you could find a gun pointed right at the back, side or front of your head wtshtf. Out of desperation, due to want or need, even the nicest person in the world can steal everything you have. I would rather not have to beg, borrow or steal to get what I need because those methods are dangerous. It would be much better to have all that I need such as food, water, clothes, shoes, medicine and sprouting seeds than to look for a barter/buyer deal which would risk my neck as well as everyone that I know. I, for one, am not into torture or tactics that would get me to spill the beans…where’s your family?…where are your supplies?…where is your money?…got anything stashed somewhere?… I wonder if the sound of my bones cracking would make me break. On the flip side of the coin, there may be a few places where there is a reputable buyer and you will not have to worry about the person shooting or killing. It will be those which are hanging around or looking for an opportunity that will present the problem. Armed or not, if your mind gets distracted or the criminals use the method, you may still find a problem or two. Wherever there is a buyer there is the potential of being ambushed along the way by armed men and women unexpectedly jumping or coming out of hiding with the intent to take all that you have to include your life. It would be no fun if some guy, watching with his binoculars somewhere, spots you and decides to use his rammobile to drive to you and harrass you with all intentions of obtaining everything you have to include all of your knowledge. In consideration of whether or not to have any money greatly depends upon what type of sh*t hits the fan, how bad it is and how deep it gets.

  41. To avoid confiscation store it as silver nitrate(good for wounds) and to get the silver out of solution dissolve post 82 pennies to make zinc nitrate silver falls out of solution and you have silver powder or mix of copper and silver depending on what u dissolved use copper pennies instead of zinc to purify silver. Or keep salt substitute potassium chloride and use it to make zinc chloride and saltpeter for gunpowder. WARNING can be illegal and dangerous only use in a TEOTWAWKI situation

  42. Richard Muszynski says:

    greetings. precious metals. not only jewelry ones. scrap aluminum can be used to make a lot of things using primitive foundry methods. like making your own machinery. you can melt aluminum with a simple forge using charcoal as the fuel. at Lindsays book dealer they have manuals on making an entire machine shop using scrap aluminum as the material and that can include old aluminum doors or windows, soda cans or beer cans, aluminum vehicle rims, anything made of aluminum can be melted and turned into objects that may be totally impossible to obtain. especially in primitive forms. you have to make your own. and aluminum allows you to. you can even cast melted scrap aluminum into ingots in something like steel muffin pans and use it as a trade item. You could save up a big amount of aluminum ingots for trade item for next to no cost. same goes for steel ingots. in the old days in the indian trade they used to trade steel pieces about 6 inches long to be used to make into tools and knifes. you can get some nice high quality steel in leaf springs on vehicles. cut it into suitable pieces and use it as trade goods to anyone who wants to make their own knives and tools. i have cut up with my oxy-acet torch a lot of leaf springs into trade pieces of steel. steel is very hard to make under primitive conditions so pieces of high quality steel will be worth more then gold when under survival conditions. I also cut into short lengths steel cable for making damascus steel tools and knifes. lot of possibilities without having to go into precious jewelry metals.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      The books found at Lindsay books ( really are a great resource for doing things the old way. Although I’ve not done the entire process, I have read through all of the steps to cast parts for a mill, cast more parts and mill them to make a lathe, and then proceed to use these tools to manufacture others until you’ve equipped an entire shop. I for one think it’s a lot of work if you can afford modern tools, but the fact that with a little (actually probably a lot) of patience, you can bootstrap an entire machine shop from scratch is a very cool thing.
      Along with your leaf springs, another good source of high quality steel is old band saw blades. Carefully cut to length, shaped, sharpened and attached to a handle makes a very nice filet knife.

      • Richard Muszynski says:

        greetings. also at Lindsay are books on casting concrete. one of the uses they have listed is to cast machine bases out of reinforced concrete instead of making it out of a cast metal. and to the metals you can certainly add old files, circular saw blades , even the little ones from circular saws in 7 1/4 inch. make nice eskimo ulu’s with them. and also on the list is high alloy truck frames, old Ford Model T frames were made out of a high vanadium content steel and from what i read that works out to really good steel for tools. only problem i see with modern tools is they are modern. one breaks you have to get parts for it from somewhere and the parts needed will not be something you can cobble up on your own. if you made the machine then you would simply have to remake the part that failed. interesting to see what one can do with very limited resources.

  43. What all of you have done is remind me of a nickel stash that has been gathering dust for 20 yrs. Started it in the 80s, planned on rolling them and turning in to the bank. Now I’m glad that I didn’t.

    Thanks all.

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      greetings. since you have a nickel stash i assume you know that in world war 2, forget if it was 1943 or 1944 there was a massive nickle shortage, the nickel being used to harden tank armor. so the government for that one year made the nickels out of silver. be a good idea to check the years on your stash nickles. if silver worth one hell of a lot more then one made of nickel.

  44. Most People still use money and will always use “fiat” for quite some time yet. But our dollar is being destroyed. So, it is imperative ( if you have money saved) to own PM’s. When the Wall Street market dives, (and it will) watch and see all those rats run for the exits. Silver will go parabolic. I’m prepped with all the needs too but I have a pretty good position in Silver. I will sell it to the coin shop when the Dow hits 6000 and Silver hits 150.00. Then I’m gonna buy a house on 1 acre for cash in a town with 3000 people ( site already picked) so I can still use water, grow food, raise rabbits and chickens and pay NO rent! I’ll be pretty much broke by then. But having a plan is a big step toward survival. Guess I’ll roll with the rest of the punches that come our way.

  45. templar knight says:

    For all of recorded history man has had a medium of exchange, and for the vast majority of time that exchange has been gold and silver. Yes, salt has been used, and precious gems also, but gold and silver have qualities that make them shine, no pun intended.

    I’ve said many times on this blog that I consider ammo, especially .22 cal., to be the best thing to put back for barter, but I think gold and silver have a place, especially silver. If….you have your beans, bullets and bandaids well taken care of. If not…don’t buy precious metals, buy the things you need.

    If you have the other things taken care of, I would suggest that pre-1965 silver coins be the first coins to buy, then Silver Eagles, followed by 1/10 oz. Gold Eagles. If you have plenty of extra money, and few do these days, then and only then buy 1 oz. Gold Eagles. It is important to keep these coins out of safety deposit boxes at the bank, at least if you don’t want them confiscated.

    One thing I do know, gold is universally accepted, and many people who have had to flee for their lives have used gold to start new lives elsewhere, and I think one should keep that option open if possible.

  46. While precious metal and jewels have worked in the past, it doesn’t mean they will work in the future. It all depends on how bad things really are. If there is mass world wide starvation, I doubt that any traditional forms of wealth will be worth anything. As things start to approach normalcy, I think things like toilet paper, dental floss, tooth paste and Q-tips will be fantastic barter items if people want to start feeling normal again. Chapped buts and clogged teeth are survivable but very uncomfortable once you are able to feed yourself on a regular basis. Not to mention a hot shower or tub bath which could also be bartered if you had the facilities to provide such. Of course at that point, precious metals may become valuable again.

  47. Richard Muszynski says:

    greetings. i have to say. you sure do come up with some interesting topics to have us chew on at this site. thank you.

  48. Also, this barter idea, I’m thinking it’s not going to work, or at least not work well or for very long. I did some reading about the barter markets in Argentina, it does not have a very good success rate for various reasons, the “credits” process seems to be the worst of it.

    A final thought, when People mention using ammo as barter, between friends it might be ok for some things, but,… it has its drawbacks between strangers. You have no idea how the ammo was stored, if it was left in a puddle of water for a week and such. A stranger at a gun show or some other venue might be trustworthy enough to buy ammo from, but just a guy off the street,… I would think there would at least be a huge premium discount for any deal to makeup for the possibility the ammo were duds.

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      and to check it? i recall a cartoon of Bugs Bunny from world war 2. he had a job in a artillery shell factory as an inspector. his job was to hit the shells coming down the assembly line with a hammer on the nose. any that didn’t blow up he tossed aside as duds. i worked for years hardening tank tread sections for tracks. we would cut one out of a hundred to check the depth and hardness of the track piece. if we had 100 per cent inspection we would have cut apart and destroyed all of the production. you can usually tell the condition of ammo by looking at it. corrosion? junk. copper oxide on the bullets? Junk. brass nice and shiny and the primers still having the pretty red nail polish on them as well as the red polish on the connection area where the bullet enters the cartridge case usually is a pretty positive sign the round is good.

  49. Gold and silver have been the standard of value for over 4,000 years. There has never been a time when people would not accept gold and silver in trade. The only time they will not be valuable is when there is nothing left to trade for.

    I do believe in setting aside some silver – American silver eagles, NOT junk silver coins, and advise everyone to set aside some each payday. As has already been said, a silver quarter is worth…a quarter (to those who’ve never seen real money; only fiat paper). What’s an American silver eagle worth? Whatever I can get for it! In 1776, two silver dollars was a day’s wage. When paper fails, silver will still work.

    One comment read “silver will only be a good investment in a financial collapse”. Since, I think that the most likely collapse we face, I’m setting aside silver. If I’m right, I’ll be able to get that ‘one or two things’ I didn’t foresee needing. If I’m wrong, I’ll cash in my silver when I’m old for whatever replaces the US Dollar. As the dollar collapses, my silver is gaining in value. Since silver is the standard, it’s value never actually changes. You just need more failing dollars to buy it.

    Let us prepare for the worse and do what we can to see that our preps are not needed. Go with God. Be safe from evil.

    • templar knight says:

      I certainly agree with your advice to buy Silver Eagles, but how are you going to make change from an Eagle? I’m just curious as to how one could make change for small transactions.

      • I’m not going to make change. Today, one American Silver Eagle can be purchased for about 35 FRNs. That’s a usable amount for food, ammo, clothing or other mundane things I did not forsee I might need. 35 FRNs is also an amount I can afford. 1,500 FRNs for one ounce of gold is beyond me.

  50. Tomthetinker says:

    There I go reading again. This is the “Money Speech” of the character Francisco d’Anconia in Ayn Rands, Atlas Shrugged. “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

    “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’

    • OhioPrepper says:

      I read Atlas Shrugged a long time ago – a real beast of a tome. For those who haven’t read it, it has been made into a movie in three parts, the first of which will be in theaters on April 15, 2011. And yes the date was chosen for a reason.

  51. Tomthetinker says:

    MYBAD……… that was a small part of the “money speech” I knew I had read something somewhere about this post that is well related in, I believe, large way. The character’s whole homily on Money is rather long as are all of the points Rand wanted to make in her book. Ya can read the whole thing and it’ll change your perceptions about more than PMs…. real money, freedom, honest work and effort.. Or…… you can go to and read the whole ‘speech’.

    • Richard Muszynski says:

      greetings. nice to know i am not the only one who reads Ayn Rand and quotes what she said and not an interpretation from left field. is like they keep saying now that Ayn Rand backed capitolism. she didn’t. she backed libertarianism, which is the philosophy she founded. she believed that you should own what you produce and not have to share it at gun point with the robbers like the government who do not help produce the product and only demand a share because they have the guns to force it. but you have done something that i do not believe anyone in the libertarian party has ever done. actually read Rand. as you read the book you will find that she never in any of her novels condoned, let alone advocated, having her charactors compromise on any important principle. I have a sticker on her philosophy in the back window of my car. A is A. simple. to the point and no compromise. Keep on reading it is good for the soul.

      • Tomthetinker says:

        RM: Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged are two of several I re-read each year. They, whom ever ‘they’ may be, are releasing the Movie in April. Part 1…. I’d say for someone out there who has not read either book…… you actually may want to rent the old Gary Cooper black and white movie, “Fountain Head” before reading the book….. read me now and trust me later…. any amount of visual image you can take to Ayn Rands books…… will help so so very much.

        • Richard Muszynski says:

          Greetings. from the current situation in the world. all we need is a John Galt and a safe haven like they had at the end of the novel. wonder how badly they will butcher her entire concept in the movie. they certainly have done that in the political party supposedly founded on her beliefs. we already have the disintergration of the world by the greedy con artists and politicians. the falling apart of the huge industries like the auto industry was. the shortage of all kinds of raw materials and lies served up to us all the time. interesting times. Eh.

  52. Silver as an investment? Naaa, but as cheap insurenance? You bet!

  53. Good article and I agree with the basic premise. Anyone who would trade firearms and ammo, food, medical supplies or other essential goods for precious metals would be crazy. You still should have some, though. One point that wasn’t covered was the time period after a situation like that described. If we had such a problem, once things started coming back a little, gold, silver, and other metals might be worth a fortune. If you can put some away now, it might pay enormous dividends at that point, since metals are essential for our civilization.

  54. TheGrayMan says:

    +1 on not even THINKING about things like silver until you have your basic preps in place.

    I think of it as a prep for a somewhat different type of disaster than things like food and water and plastic sheeting (though these disasters can precipitate one another, as a tsunami can lead to a nuclear crisis): a scenario where civil society remains more or less intact, but the currency loses significant value. This happens all the time in history, with the last century seeing post-WWI Germany, and the Argentine collapse of just a decade ago, not to mention our own double-digit inflation back in the 70’s. As an investment, it has had its ups and downs, but at least it’s not in lockstep with the stock market.

    No, you can’t eat silver, but you can’t fight a flood with a fire extinguisher, either – they’re preps for different scenarios. I bought some junk silver last year; I have a strong suspicion it will at least turn out to be a savvy investment for me and my children as the dollar inflates, and see a chance that in certain close-to-worst-case scenarios, it may mean the difference between “getting by” and true desperation.

  55. No you can’t go the grocery store now and spend those silver coins but if the dollar colapses silver will be valuable don’t forget silver will go up in price and so will gold. Gold is real money just ask the Chinease.

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