Quick tips for investing in silver



A few days ago a pack member emailed me inquiring about investing in silver – specifically, he wanted to know which type of bullion coin that I would suggest a novice invest in.

I’m sure many of you have asked that question and while there are many answers, however I like to keep true to the KISS principle (keep it, simple, stupid) when possible.

To that end, I suggest folks, especially those just dripping their toe into silver investing, start out with the American Silver Eagle, then after learning a little more of the ins and outs of silver investing you can move into other coins, bars and rounds.

Sources

I hope this helps…

Comments

  1. Sadly silver is quickly rising out of the dip it’s been in and the best time to have bought seems to be over for many of us.

    The reason it’s really sad it that the rise means that things are becoming worse for the overall world economy.

  2. The problem with investing in coins is that you pay a premium for the numismatic value. Plus shipping. Both of which make your “cost” of the silver significantly higher than the actual “value” of the metal. If SHTF, a “proof coin” is going to be nothing more than a real pretty hunk of valuable metal. I don’t need to pay for pretty, or to have it shipped to my door in a scratchproof protective bubble wrap with delivery confirmation. The lower my cost, the more I can buy.

    Head on over to your local “we buy gold” shop. I can usually get a silver bar for $1 over today’s silver spot price. Some days I can get 5 bars; some days they have none. They’re used and worn, but I’m not buying it to look pretty on my shelf.

  3. Getting Started in Colorado says:

    MD, Matt and Mark thanks so much. I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can lately about silver. I’ve read several comments here and looked at the sponsors web sites also. The other day I went to a local coin, silver and gold dealer. From what I’m hearing here his prices aren’t to bad, spot (silver price at that time) plus $3.50 or $4.00 depending on the coin you are buying. Am I right? Or am I completely lost still? Thanks MD and everyone in the Pack.

    • When you “buy” silver coins, you can expect a 10% to 15% increase depending on the dealer, and when you “sell” you can expect a 12% to 20% reduction. Again, some dealers may use the same rate selling and buying, and I would prefer working with dealers that use the same rate buying and selling.

  4. benjammin says:

    The number one silver investment right now would be junk silver (US mint, non-collector grade dimes and quarters minted before 1964). Their value is two-fold:

    First, they are 90% silver, readily identified, and easily exchanged in tradeable units (a silver franklin dime is worth about $2.00). In a SHTF situation, you will have a tough time dividing up silver bars and larger coins, or you will give up a lot of value. Imagine giving up a 1 oz bar for a can of hash or a bag of flour.

    Second, and this is more subtle but still significant. If there were somehow a major deflation and our currency went up significantly, the coins will never be worth less than their face value. Say silver went to $1.00 an oz somehow. Well, that same silver dime would be worth only 7 cents in silver, but would still trade at 10 cents because of it’s minted value. Not very likely we will see deflation at that level, but you never know.

    The point is you can get into junk silver fairly cheaply, it retains value very well, and it is the easiest form of silver to trade in.

    • benjammin,

      Junk silver is okay if you find it in your pocket change but I don’t suggest anyone go out and buy large quantities as an investment. However having a small amount of “junk silver” on hand is a good bet to use for barter of low cost items. The hardest part may be in getting a potential trading partner to see your “junk silver” as having more value than that listed on the face of the coin. You would be surprised at how many folks will only see your pre-1965 ten cent coin as only a dime.

      • and this reason alone is why I haven’t bought pre ’65 coins.

        I personally have this hang up. I can’t see paying a 90% spot price + surcharges of 2 to 4 over spot for something that many will never see more than face value.

        • Matt:

          I like pre-65 coins for smaller purchases/trade. If you want to go with just bullion, Provident Metals sells 1/4 and 1/2 oz silver rounds.

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        MD,
        A shout out to JM Bullion. I ordered silver eagles from them on Monday morning, they accepted the 5 dollar off they posted here, they called to confirm my credit card information and I had the coins in hand 2 days later. Very good people to deal with.

      • MD: remember that your pre-1965 nickels are the same metal wise as the new ones…no silver, but still valuable.

        • Waterboy,

          Yep, you are correct – I don’t know why I typed pre-1965 nickels, aparently my head is up my rear this morning. Need to get more sleep and less work… Thanks for catching that…

  5. @Mark, you’re half way on point. Numismatic coins are to be avoided for investment. You can’t gauge the silver content and they are only valuable to collectors.

    Silver Eagles and Silver Maples, uncirculated are you best bet. I pass over bars because there can be issues with the silver content depending on who is manufacturing them.

    A US Mint Silver Eagle is a recognized standard.

    Most dealers charge $4 over spot price on average. If you are paying more you are getting ripped off.

    If you can pay less like $2-3 over spot you’re getting a great deal.

    People offering $1 over spot, are probably scamming you unless you have a personal connection, in most cases.

    Don’t buy numismatic coins.

  6. east coast dan says:

    The best way I found to buy silver was to first learn more than just a little about it. Then, find a reputable coin dealer and buy small quantities at any given time. This will help build a raport with the dealer, Transactions are made in cash and you can walk in, buy the silver and leave with it then and there. This eliminates shipping and insuring costs and also limits the paper trail. American eagles are good, as well as Canadian Maple leafs. Junk silver coins (pre 1964 dimes, quarters and halves) are also good and can be bought in small or large quantities ranging from 20 to 1000 dollars in face value. I hope this helps.

  7. Thanks so much for this information. I needed it. And I appreciate all of the different viewpoints in the additional posts.

  8. There are a couple of online sources for silver that have shipping @ $8.99 and $6.99 no matter how large (or small) the order. I have a local dealer that calls me when he has silver that he wants to move, and I can’t beat the price anywhere else. Now that silver is on the up-tick there might be some more available.

    For those that are thinking they missed the boat on pricing, just a reminder. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I had to sell some of my silver last September. I got $38/oz for it! I look at what I can buy now as a deal.

  9. village idiot says:

    Here’s my KISS silver investment strategy:

    1. 90% American coins(pre-1965 dimes, quarters and halves for the most part)
    2. One ounce silver eagles and maple leafs
    3. Half-ounce silver eagles
    4. American and Canadian Silver dollars(cause I like them)

    And although I know that mail order might be a little cheaper, for OPSEC purposes I always pay cash at a local coin shop. Peace of mind.

    I also hold some small gold coins and some semi-precious and precious gemstones. I do believe that one should diversify, and not just hold silver alone, although I do give it the primary place. Hope this helps.

  10. 1) There is a difference between “investment” and “wealth preservation”. 2) Premiums in general are lower on less “known” items. Random bars and rounds at the bottom, national coins at the top. Larger bar premium less than smaller bar premium. 3) Right now the gold/silver ratio favors silver in my opinion. 4) If you don’t posess it you don’t own it. Even religious based repositories & investments have gone bad. 5) Figure the shipping on a per coin basis, could be important. 6) As a prepper I avoid numismatics, see #1. 7) Reports of increasing tension at LBMA, maybe the last chance at these prices. Get you some now.

  11. What I am still uncertain about is the reasons for investing in silver. I get it for folks who have wealth to preserve. But if you are going to invest, why not invest in some .22 lr or some longterm food storage? What is the point in keeping silver? (I have been asking myself this question.) It would seem that investing in food and ammo is far more important than investing in silver. Do you all have a reason that I am just not seeing?

    • Bam Bam,

      I’ve always told my readers to invest in preps first -food, meds, land, weapons etc. Then think about silver / gold. As for a use for silver, well let’s look at my own situation – I have a dentist that lives about four miles from where I do, now suppose that I need a tooth pulled, I could barter some silver for his services.

      Also, we cannot think of or store everything that we could ever need and silver along with other barter items can be used as a means to fill in the gaps or replace things that are used up, broken, lost or stolen. Just don’t go overboard with silver investing, but it’s nice to have some on hand for those unexpected moments.

      • Thanks, M.D. That makes sense.

      • +1
        You cannot eat silver or gold; silver or gold will not help your health like medications will, although, they could help buy land or weapons or gear, etc., but then that is what cash would be used for before SHTF.
        Besides, silver and gold get to be heavy if you have to resort to carrying all your worldly possessions on your back.

        • Mike,

          I think you need to study up on the subject – silver and gold have been used for money (and are real money not paper notes) for thousands of years. Cash (paper) has lost most of its purchasing power and it will only get worse. Being closed minded and not willing to cover all the needed categories and needs of survival (Air, food, water, tools, protection, medical, skills and barter) is the surest way to perish.

          • MD,

            I am very much aware that gold and silver have been used as money for millennia. What I meant was to use the existing cash on hand to buy land, etc. before a SHTF situation while it was still worth something and hold on to your gold and silver for later, when the paper (cotton) cash is worth toilet paper.

            • Mike,

              Yep, that is what I’ve been saying for years; in fact I think I said it here in the comments of this post. Get your necessities squired away first then look to invest in silver / gold as a hedge against inflation. And you might even turn a good profit along the way…

        • Just an opinion…. I think of my PMs as a device to get me and hard assets to the otherside of hard times. A time machine of sorts. I like to think that is an optomistic point of view. No paper ‘wealth’ has ever stood up against a SHingTF situation. My bag of dimes … will come out on the otherside of hard times worth no less than a dime apiece … that mean I lost my toush… It may mean I can buy your house with some of it. For those of us lucky to have the liquied assets to buy into Silver or Gold, it is a way to preserve true wealth.. it is a way of having your cake .. and being able to eat it in a manner of speaking. PMs are a sound way to protect your wealth … unless your world view is of mankind as hunters and gatherers from here on in. MD is correct. If you have the ‘extra’ cash available…. study up on the subject. Take a look at history and what people decided to put in their pockets when paper was only good for rolling your own or wipe…ing the south end.

  12. Old Hillbilly says:

    M.D. touched on a very good point above regarding “junk” silver…what if your trading partner after SHTF only sees your pre ’65 dime as worth 10 cents? You know it is worth more and I know it is worth more, but what about the person that has no clue about pre-65 silver coins and simply considers them worth their face value? If we only had to trade with “silver savy” individuals all would be well…but it is almost a given that not everyone that survives will be knowledgable regarding junk silver. One more point about junk silver is that it is valued based on it’s “melt value” but unless i am mistaken, it is illegal to melt U.S. coins into bullion. After SHTF I doubt it will matter though as long as the two parties to a trade can agree on a value of the coin .

    One other alternative to consider is the silver rounds offered by several minting houses. They are clearly marked as to their silver weight and purity of content and most of them sell for a low premium over spot….something to consider. Westminister Mint is a good place to look if you are interested in this type of investment.

    • I agree there are many people than do not have a clue about silver coinage, and I would bet the majority of them probably have no idea who The Dave Clark Five, The Mama’s and The Papa’s, or Herman’s Hermits (when silver coinage was still actively used) are either.

      I would also think those ‘unaware’ people will also be in the rank and file of the unprepared ‘zombies’; someone that I would not want to be trading with anyhow. That brings us back to preppers who have stocked items and are probably more savy to the silver situation than the unprepared. I honestly believe when it comes time to trading or bartering after a SHTF situation, the individuals that have the supplies worth trading for will know exactly what you have; my concern would be the exchange rate used may be whatever the individual you are trading with sets. Silver today was over $30 an ounce, after a SHTF event, there may not be any way of communicating the current spot value and the one with the ‘goods’ may consider its value to be less than $1 per ounce.

  13. I have been collecting and saving all pre-1965 silver coins since I was a kid and have been advised numerous times that the silver content is at 90% and the actual “silver” weight will be based on the coin.

    If you want to determine the silver value of a coin, you could use the following as a baseline:

    Dimes have 0.0724 troy ounces
    Quarters have 0.1809 troy ounces
    Half-Dollars have 0.3618 troy ounces
    Silver-Dollars have 0.7736 troy ounces

    So, say for example Silver is posted at $30 per troy ounce you would expect the following:

    Dime – 0.0724 x 30 = $2.17
    Quarter – 0.1809 x 30 = $5.42
    Half-Dollar – 0.3618 x 30 = $10.85
    Dollar – 0.7736 x 30 = $23.20

    If you sell your “junk” silver, you would not get more than this (or whatever the current rate multiplied by the coins silver weight), and the dealer may even deduct a small percentage for buying, and charge a slightly higher percentage when selling.

    Of course, the rarity and the better grade or rating of the coins’ mint condition and availability is more relative for collectibles and can be worth much more to a collector as compared to junk coins. However, if a crash does occur, even the more rare and collectible coins will drop closer to the weighted value, so I would still hold on to those to sell as last resort sales.

  14. LoneStarLarry says:

    I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but it looks to me that it would be fairly easy to counterfeit gold or silver bars. Maybe not too easy, but it could be done as easily as some other types of scams.
    I wouldn’t know if a bar was real or a gold plated heavy something or another.
    I feel the same way about diamonds. I wouldn’t know a real diamond from a fake.
    Yes, I have average intelligence, and I know what a silver quarter looks like. I might trade you something I have for some quarters while not wanting to trade you something of value for your golden bar with all the mint marks and .9999 fine stamped on it. No matter what, I would need to be sure, and so will everyone else.
    Jus’ sayin’

    • Thank You LoneStarLarry…………. Fake rounds and bars are a fast growing industry. My baby girl came back form a trip to China and thought she had a real deal in her suitcase with some ‘old’ US coinage. Turns out to be the most counterfieted one dollar silver coin in circulation. Looks great, feels right, even rings when you drop it…. until you put it up next to the ‘real deal’ which you can’t cause the US mint didn’t punch one out that year. When platted zinc rounds and bars invade the lower end of the market … junk silver will look oh so nice. Juz sayin…..

      • There was a comment on another blog recently concerning the sale of some silver. Apparently, a jewelry store bought the pre-1965 coins, but told the seller to take the rounds and Eagles to a pawn shop. Personally, I think the pre-’65 coins are a lot harder to counterfiet than the rounds or bars. My position is to have a variety of pre-’65 “junk” silver coins that are in a lightly circulated condition along with some Silver Eagles. The Silver Eagle is a really beautiful coin!

  15. PreppingHARD says:

    Coinflation.com is a excellent source to determine melt value of junk silver coins. I’m a silverbug.

  16. Hunker-Down says:

    Our choice of what form of silver to buy is based on what I expect it will do for us after TSHTF.
    As many have said, ‘you cant eat silver’ so, put food, water and security issues higher on your priority list.

    After securing most of the more important issues, we buy junk dimes and quarters for the purpose of purchasing common items like bread or flower or wheat. We would not want to be forced to give a silver dollar for one loaf of bread when a couple of silver dimes would make the purchase.
    For more expensive items, like a wood burning stove for example, we would like to have a few one ounce silver eagles.

    If silver ever became so valuable as to purchase land, we would like to be prepared to take advantage by having a few rolls of silver eagles.
    We cant afford it, but if you have the means to squirrel away several thousand dollars and are worried that it may become worthless, put it in one ounce gold American Eagles. A pound of gold (33k in greenbacks) would be easy to carry in a back pack and if you have a few pounds someday you may be able to buy a piece of land the size of Pennsylvania. But food, water and safety are more important.

    • PreppingHARD says:

      Nice post. Thats the truth.

    • I would agree IF you had the means and were able to put away several thousands of dollars, gold would be the better way to go. There are about 50 ounces of silver equal to one ounce of gold (actually 54:1 today). At today’s spot price for gold at $1,670 per troy ounce, a pound of gold would be just below $26,750; today’s spot price for silver was at $30.78, which would place a pound of silver just under $495.

      SO yes, if I had to carry pounds of precious metals in my backpack, gold would be the preferred route to follow.

      A troy ounce (ozt) is actually heavier than an ounce used at a typical grocery store or postal scale (avoirdupois).

      one troy ounce (ozt) is 31.1034768 grams
      one avoirdupois ounce (oz) is 28.349523125 grams

      But then again, making change for a full ounce of gold would be difficult, so having a diversification of smaller pieces of gold like ½, ¼, 1/10th, and 1/20th ounce sized coins as well as silver ounces would be easier to work with. There will always be a need to make change.

  17. For millennia PM have/has been used as a form of payment. Gold,silver,copper,brass,etc. in a shtf situation a pair of good scales will go a long way. Look at the bible as an example the big thing, an unjust SCALE or weights and measures could get a guy killed. Almost all metals will have some value in a shtf situation. For portability for myBOB I’m going with a little per 65 dimes,quarters and some silver rounds. Will I have ALOT of it? no. I’ll spend my money on food(long term,comfort,BOB),water (treatment,storage,). Weapons,ammo,ammo,ammo, trade goods, etc etc.
    But in the spirit of this OP I will be utilizing some of the vendors listed.
    Shout out to Mr Creekmore, sir, I really enjoy your insight and reading what you share with us.
    for my .02 worth, I live rural, real rural, closest big town is maybe 17000. Around here you could trade a handful of 22lr a lot quicker than you could silver or gold, oz of silver= about 1,000 22 shells. Diversify into those calibres your neighbors most commonly deer hunt with. Just an idea.

  18. this may sound paranoid but i would stick to just giving ideas out to people and not say to much about what youve done. Fedzilla is always listening and i dont trust our government one bit. i wouldnt say anything about where you live but just ideas on what to do, even if its what your doing keep it simple stupid so Fedzilla doesnt get a warrant and mark you as a terrorist. even theyre the terrorists. good luck and God speed.

    • Big Jim,

      OPSEC is key, that is why I will never post what I’ve done to prep; which isn’t squat. I keep living life my normal way.

      As for identification, every one of us has identified an email account just to post on this and other sites. I am in no way suggesting MD is keeping a database of or selling the email list to anyone.

      You think “Fearless Leader” and his team at Fort Huachuca are not already aware if they wanted to know who each one of us were? The illustrious World Wide Web is not so secure as many people believe, even those “https” links still are packaged across a wire, and in some instances air. So what if they are encrypted, you think the fed does not have methods of decrypting.

      Please, how naive are some people out there?

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Mike,

        There are many posts on this blog speculating on how many agencies are crawling through everything we post.

        We need a tax increase to keep those agencies solvent!

  19. I like to ask people WHY they want to invest in silver (or gold.)
    Reasons for buying/investing in precious metals can be as different/unique as the reasons people buy cars, or houses.
    Examples:
    a.) Some people may be looking to diversify their stock portfolio, and are seeking something more physical;
    b.) Another person may be seeking a method/tool for transferring money abroad/internationally;
    c.) Someone else may be seeking to accumulate precious metals as a barter tool for a SHTF scenario in a post-cash economy;
    d.) Someone else may be seeking a “collector” approach to unique coins;

    There are MANY reasons why people can (and should) include a significant amount of their “nest egg” in precious metals. But, the reasons “why” and “how” can be very different and unique.

    Example: Someone who is collecting silver as a barter tool, doesn’t really need to worry very much about government-minted “coins.” These people are more concerned about the $$$-per-ounce that they can achieve. They are also less concerned about the international export/import of their silver, because they are preparing to hunker-down and use silver as more of a LOCAL currency.
    Similarly, the person who is leveraging silver as a bartering tool is usually more silver-focused than gold-focused, and usually seeking smaller “rounds” than larger “bricks.” e.g. Budget one troy ounce of silver per person per day as a “cost-of-living” allowance. It’s not practical to attempt to carve-off seven ounces of silver from a 100-ounce bar to pay for a week of food & lodging. Instead, it’s easier to give the person seven, one-ounce rounds.

    Whereas, someone who is seeking to leverage silver or gold as an international travel tool (e.g. in & out of Argentina or something like that) should instead focus on government-minted “coins.” These “coins” have a stamped face value (which is far less than their REAL weighted-value.) Countries have various limits on the value of cash you can travel with, and it’s usually expressed in local denominations (USD, British Pounds, Euros, etc.) Thus, the face value of the currency allows you to “technically” skirt some of these rules.
    Some countries, however, are “wise” to precious metal values, and have specific limitations on the amount of silver/gold that someone can import/export as well. Furthermore, some countries tax (or don’t tax) certain precious metals as they are imported/exported. So, gold might be tax-free, whereas silver might incur a VAT tax? (Or, vise versa.)

    Before anyone can suggest “quick tips” on investing in silver (or other precious metals,) we need to further review the person’s goals/needs — WHY do they want/need precious metals? Only then, can we suggest a proper approach.

    I heard of one person who had build a rabbit mold, and was melting/pouring his silver into these molds to create eight-inch tall bunny figurines. He then painted these rabbits brown and black, and literally used them as doorstops in each room of his home. He wanted their value to be overlooked by passers-by — to be seen as everyday doorstops. He also wanted his heirs to inherit his collection of silver bunnies, without the overhead of Big Brother trying to take inheritance tax. He informed his whole family of his bunny collection, and had literally carved their names/initials into the base of their bunnies. “When I die, take your bunnies!”

    Sometimes, precious metals can achieve more than one goal concurrently? But, seldom do they meet ALL goals. (e.g. you either WANT a government-minted coin with a “hard” face value? Or, you don’t.) Therefore, “rounds” usually have a different purpose than “coins.”

    Gold: Many people don’t realize the reason behind “Pieces of Eight.” Gold has carried so much value over time, that it was difficult to “make change” for a single ounce of gold. Therefore, they began to cut it into pieces. Some gold was even pre-minted with “break points,” so it could more-easily be broken into smaller portions/pieces for transactions (e.g. eight pieces.)

    The same holds true in today’s world. If someone is collecting gold as a barter tool, then smaller pieces are best. Considering inflation throughout the years, however, even smaller pieces of silver are justified. e.g. trying to pay for a $15-dollar meal with a one ounce of silver, or one ounce of gold? Are you going to overpay for this meal — because you can’t make change? Or, go hungry?

    There are MANY reasons to buy/own/invest in precious metals. The one rule that I would say, is DON’T INVEST IN PAPER BULLION! But the REAL, hard bullion, instead. When stock markets and such crash, your paper bullion will be as useless as paper currency. All those “promises” will evaporate. Or, if/when a government wants to seize precious metals, these are “paper trails” to your wealth. Others may argue against this, and recommend investing in paper bullion. And, there ARE times when someone can “win” in the paper market (when times are good.) But, when times get bad (VERY BAD,) — then these “traditional” advantages will quickly evaporate!

    Sorry, there really isn’t a “quick tip” on buying precious metals. Sure,there are guidelines and such. But, it’s a very personal/unique purpose for everyone. My needs are different than most other people’s needs. Similarly, my price points for investing are also different than yours. Etc.

    Peace.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Jack,

      Each of us has a unique set of biases regarding money. In silver, mine is against rounds. There are an infinite number of different faces imprinted in that category and I’m not interested in becoming familiar with any of them, except the Silver Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf.

      My justification for such a position is that I do not have, and don’t plan to acquire the proper tools to identify counterfeit. That way, I avoid having to call someone a cheat, or at least tell them that they are a fool in that what they are trying to sell or barter is worthless. I realize I am open to being fooled by a counterfeit Silver Eagle and that’s why our focus is on junk dimes and quarters.

    • Quick Tip – Dollar Cost Averaging…

      I have bought gold and silver coins (government minted, ingots, and rounds) regularly on an almost quarterly basis since the early 1980’s, and sometimes purchased monthly when additional funds were available. However, precious metals were always a secondary or tertiary investment for me and always on a cash only basis. Kind of like my Las Vegas philosophy… only spend what you can afford to lose.

      The ebb and flow of the current spot price at time of purchase has, IMHO been worthwhile over time, hence the affect of Dollar Cost Averaging. Paying between $275 and $400 an ounce for gold during the 1990s and up until 2004 on a regular basis is now proving how good an investment it has been with gold now over $1600 / ozt equating to a 400% – 500% increase.

      Silver has pretty much followed a similar proportional trend after the Hunt brothers helped cause silver to spike in 1980. After its decline from $50/ozt in 1980 when it got back down to reasonable prices under $5/ozt in 1987 was when I started adding silver to my portfolio. The mindset of needing to make change for gold with silver.

      Now with speculation looming that the Euro and US dollars are probably going to fail, along with the potential of going back to the Gold Standard, I could definitely see gold easily exceeding $2,500 and silver exceeding $150 per troy ounces.

  20. i sell dirt says:

    Silver is good, but if it really does hit the fan I think ammo would be better to have. The obvious use for it being number one, but it would be accepted for bartering I think. As silver has gone up and down in value, the ammo isn’t…so it is not as risky

    • i sell dirt,

      It all depends on the type, depth and duration of the disaster. In a Mad max type event ammo would be in high demand (but will probably used against you at some point by your trading partner) in a more realistic event of let’s say an economic collapse (think Argentina 1999–2002) gold and silver would be much better for barter and a way to protect your wealth. There is no one answer, because there are to many variables to be considered.

  21. LoneStarLarry says:

    Forgive me for this second post, but I just want to clarify something.

    As a man of average intelligence, but without any means of assaying a metal, or any way of weighing a coin or round, not being educated in the value and markings on a bar or round, I would be very reluctant to swap something of value for that bar or round. I know those bars have all kinds of markings and stamps pertaining to the purity of the metal on them. I know what an American Eagle looks like. I know what a Krugerrand looks like, a Canadian Maple leaf etc.. But I could not know for sure if the one a stranger offers me is really what he says it is. Someone who is more sophisticated than I probably could tell very easily if it was counterfeit. I would bet there are many more people like me out there.

    I know what an American silver coin looks like. I know within reason what it is worth and what kind of value to place on it. For use as money after tshtf I will be glad to take your quarters and dimes and half dollars, for something extra I might be willing to part with, but spare me the time in trying to convince me that the gold bar you have is worth anything.

    And yeah, I will probably miss out on a lot of stuff, but it won’t be from trading golden bars from Johnson Mathey with .9999 stamped on them.