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

Investing in Junk Silver CoinsI’ve noticed a lot of emails 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, 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), let’s 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…

For 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” down to the nearest convenience 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 they will probably think you’re a confidence man or something.

When the stores 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 they will any form of currency. 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 neighbors 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 to be 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? It probably will…

I’ve read many comments on this and other survival blogs pondering the possibility of food confiscation and redistribution after a disaster and while this is a real 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 – it isn’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 standpoint, 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, the United States dimes 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 markup, 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 if you take the time and know where to look.

I like to look around old home places (with permission) schools, and churches. 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. Jay in Kansas says:

    I have a few, I admit I went on a kick with them a few years back. I’ve since culled it,, generally with the idea that I can’t eat it, and your average American has no clue what it’s worth is in a barter situation. That said, there is a stash in the gun safe, just because “you never know…”

  2. I have a couple of hundred dollars worth of nickels, can’t really afford much in the way of silver or gold. The price of metals is down and is reflected by the need by industrial need. Nickels are an alloy of nickel and copper (so is the alloy known as monel, important in the marine industry) Current metal value of a nickel is 3 cents. When I started saving them it was 5.3 cents so it was a good investment. I really haven’t lost anything though as I paid 5 cents for them and they are still worth 5 cents. (If you figure in inflation they are actually worth less.) the only caveat I see is they are still pocket change and if anyone is going to be buying anything it’s not likely that what is available is going to be cheap.

    • Red Tower says:

      My DS also found out nickels make good wrist rocket (slingshot) ammo. Better than pennies.

      • Red Tower- good point, ever consider ‘square nuts’? ‘Pointy’ corners + heavy mass= great force on impact w/a ‘leading edge’. Rabbits, squirrels, muskrats & other peta (people eating tasty animals) delights susceptible.

        They may become scarce after shtf, hence we need to ‘gather up’ our brass when feasible. Thanks for input!

  3. Richard Lange says:

    I agree totally with this article. My collecting of precious metals is just like my procurement of ammo and other needed supplies, a little each month. It is amazing how your stores will increase over a years time. Now if you have not started yet, like most of my neighbors, you will need a decent amount of cash to get the basics but once started increasing your supply does not cost much per month. My family has been prepping for over 5 years and our problem is not having to little, it is finding a place to store what we have and when we continue to procure. As a side note , watch the experation dates on your items and when they get close, three to four months, to their use by date donate the items to a local food pantry. Yes I know the food will be good well after the use by date, it is just that the food pantries will not take the items after that date.

  4. MsBlindSpot says:

    I have a relative who has bought ‘junk’ silver and small and large bars of silver, banking on that to provide for his needs “later”. He is 90 yo now, and the silver sits….and loses value every day lately. I have had this conversation with him numerous times (about how he’ll use it if/when there’s a collapse) and he insists he’ll be able to sell it back to who he bought it from…at the price he paid for it, or more. I don’t think that’s a viable stance. Those folk will be scrambling for survival themselves and/or looking to make a killing by buying metals cheaper than usual. I’ve also brought up the coin issue, trying to get him to realize that Little Miss Bessie in the local supermarket is not gonna know that that silver dollar is worth more than a dollar. Heck she may not even know what a silver dollar is, and not take it! It’s my personal opinion that silver and gold (and other metals) are an “add-on” to prepping and if things really collapse, they will only be ‘barter’ to folks who want to take advantage of the situation for when things ‘stabilize’ (like ‘carpetbaggers’ during and after the Civil War). I also feel a hoard of precious metals can endanger a person; if anyone finds out you have it, they’ll be on it, and anyone who would want it and come to steal it wouldn’t care much about your life. I feel an investment in tools, spare parts, some foods, and gear is a better idea. Thanks MD for sharing a different stance than most. I think it’s important that different views be presented, as none of us has the same prepping needs or ideas.

    • MsBlindSpot says:

      Whoever “thumbs-downed” this, would you please share your point of view if it’s different than mine? I would appreciate it.

      • I did not do it, but I have accidently hit a down thumb previously. Is it true that you can change it to correct it by double clicking the UP thumb?

        • Aussie Prepper says:

          Yep seo – I just did it to you 🙂


        • MsBlindSpot says:

          Didn’t work for me. 🙁 Maybe ya can’t do it on your own?

          Whatever. I just wish folks would have conversation rather than just a thumbs-down. I do NOT mind disagreement or differences of opinion, but stealthy behavior pisses me off.

          I understand the “fat fingers” thing, but….

          • That’s exactly
            What the trolls want.

          • Aussie Prepper says:

            Hi MsBlindSpot

            Worked for me on your post. I thumbed you down, took you tally to 0/2. Then I clicked about 3 times on Thumbs Up and you are now 1/1

            Dunno who gave you the original thumbs down …..


          • So you are OK with the thumbs up without a conversation but not the thumbs down. Get a thicker skin. My comments over the years here have received both and I have never objected to the thumbs down as I understand that it is just someone who does not nessasarly agree with all or part of what I said. You seem to feel that all money should be invested in tools ect. And while I agree with that part I disagree that you shouldn’t invest in PM’s I think that you should invest in both. And I was not one of the thumbs down by the way

            • MsBlindSpot says:

              poorman…It’s not about ok or not ok with either…it’s about shared ideas and thoughts about a subject. If someone disagrees with what I say, I’d love to hear their critique or other ideas.

              Oh…and my post does seem to convey that I feel all money should be invested in tools and such…but that’s not what I think. Didn’t write it well, I guess. Or, maybe, it’s that as “poor” as I am, PMs are not an option…not bought ones anyway…so I think in terms of ‘hard’ investment.

              That’s all. Nuf said. Moving on. Got prepping to do.

      • Aussie Prepper says:

        Wasn’t me Ms – pretty much on the same page as you. I do have a few 5 litre containers of our old currency that I put aside for myself when I worked in a Bank many years ago and it is either 92.5% or 50% depending on year. Could turn it into a decent amount of cash but I dont need it and kinda like having it as is.

        Im not so sure “junk” silver will be worth anything until the hoo haa has settled down anyway and there is some semblance of “normal” has returned, and that could be a very long time.

        I do have 3 x 2 ounce gold bars though, but not as a means to preserve wealth. I have it simply in case I need to bribe someone. Gold has that awesome “something” factor that nothing else seems to have.


  5. A few ounces of silver, not much but a bit. I tend to gather unwanted garden tools as I think seed’s, shovels, hoe’s, and rakes will provide a tastier meal. FerFal has written about the Argentine collapse and noted that gold chains and wedding bands were tradeable for some good’s that were available.

    I’m kinda mixed about the PM’s, for one oz of gold a family could put in a very nice apple and pear orchard, yet an oz of PM is alot easier to carry and hide than a case of pears. Certainly dried pears taste better. Perhaps a bit will proove to be worthwhile; you can make change for a bucket of food.

  6. Thomas The Tinker says:

    What Jay said “… You never know….” I can’t say we have any $ilver … any more than I would $toop $o low as to have a firearm of any kind.. nor the mountain of ammo to feed them … or a $tash of MRE(s) or other $uch food $tuffs .. or a few extra gallons of gas in the garage .. or charcoal .. or $ay a few extra band aids or tools. It would $eem prudent no matter what my world view may be … but I’m not going to get crazy and $tart collecting extra $ocks.. $anitary pads.. or hotel $ewing kits $oap and $hampoo.. That would be as pathetic as keeping a back pack full O $tuff and a bedroll in the back of the truck as $ome folks in here are known to do.. or for that matter an extra “Bic” lighter in the cup holder … $ick..$ick…..$ick.

    Bacon ….. bacon… now there is one practical aspect of the prepper culture I could get behind. the thought that a few dollars face value of pre $ilver coin could just.. $omehow.. maybe.. proly be used to create $ome modicum of a $urplus trade economy in the worst case…. or even pay off the mortgage in the case of a $imple … major depression … as my grandparents did….

    Well… now that I have given it $ome thought…… I would $eem prudent to do all those things…. to $ome degree … I $uppose a mason jar full of all the junk $ilver I find would not be a … waste … of time or money … Maybe a lil of everything … moderation … yeah….

    By Gawd.. the next time I $ee that apple crate full of tea candles at a garage $ale …. I’m on it!

    By golly…. I’m keepin this role of old.. worn.. tarnished.. $cratched up dimes …. lying on the mouse pad……. Yepper and the quarters too… then I’m heading out to the Aldi’s and indulge in a whole dang case of that Hormel Chili …. with the beans…. then I’m gonna re-fill all 5 of those gas cans I’ve had $itting in the garage for the last 3 days… yeah … A lilbit of a lot of things…

    $eem like the prudent thing to do.

  7. I fully understand that the price of coins is generally only accepted at face value. I’ve worked in convenience stores, and we aren’t allowed to take them at more than face value, because, of course, we have no way of knowing their actual worth. And by that, I don’t mean the current price of silver on the market. I mean that these coins are generally collected by people who think that “Oh, there’s a shiny liberty dime. That’ll bring some dollars!” But only if they take it to a specialist who understands the value of a rare liberty dime from such and such a year.
    I fully expect trade to be done on a barter system, not with coinage. Hardly anyone, except at the first, will want the worthless things. Coins only come in handy as currency after the markets have developed far enough for a certain currency to become accepted in trade. Until then, the standard will probably be something like the worth of a meal, or a days’ wages, etc.
    The value of an ounce of gold, for instance, has not actually changed relative to it’s value. 200 oz of gold could buy a car in the early days, and the value of 200 oz of gold is about what the average car costs today. I have a chart somewhere in my files that gives the value, in gold, silver and commodoties, of certain food items, tools, furniture, a house or a day’s wages. These are standards that will probably come into play again. I’ll see if I can find it. It was from the 80’s, but changed my view of economics.
    Thinking about the reference in the Bible about the end times, when it took a shekel to buy a loaf of bread. A day’s wages, back then, was a shekel. Can you imagine paying a day’s wages for a loaf of bread?

    Anyway, gotta go, Keep the faith and be ready.

    • Sorry but I’m not understanding your comment: “The value of an ounce of gold, for instance, has not actually changed relative to it’s value. 200 oz of gold could buy a car in the early days, and the value of 200 oz of gold is about what the average car costs today”. Back in the ‘early days’, when we were on the gold standard (until Nixon took us off in 1971), it’s price was fixed at $35/oz. So, 200 ounces, back, say, in the 1930s, would have been work $7000, far more than the average automobile. At today’s spot prices of $1104/oz, 200 would be worth over $200k, for which you could quite easily buy 6-10 of your ‘average’ new cars on the market today. Aside from the questionable match, I agree with the general theme of this thread, in a true disaster scenario, food, water, shelter, and ammo would be far more desirable than precious metals.

      • Tried posting a reply earlier, but it disappeared. Appreciate your comment, though I was thinking about prices pre-Fed. At those rates, the formula works. Although I guess this is a testament to the artificial inflation of things in the modern world.
        Ford priced his original cars at 200 oz of gold, or about $4000 at the time. Truly something he intended for the elite.
        I do believe commodities will take precedence over precious metals in the beginning, for the most part. You might have a few people willing to trade food or fuel for currency, but those’ll be rare. Money won’t be freely traded again until things stabilize and communities begin working with each other. Then, who knows what they’ll choose for currency or the value they’ll put on precious metals?

        • Red Tower- gotta agree w/you. Not all the numbers tally exactly, but I take them as ‘demonstrative’.

          No telling what will happen, how severe the consequences, or how long (it will vary by location). However, money, being a ‘facillatator’ of commerce/trade, will again evolve. A black market will also prolly evolve ( some of which will come from the ‘conquered prepper’- argghh). ‘Negotiable’ commodities (money) will also evolve. Leave no stone unturned.

    • Another way to look at this comparison is the basic infantryman’s rifle. Beaucoux years ago (1880), the basic E-1 soldier earned enough money per month to purchase the rifle he carried.
      In 1980, the BCT E-1 earned enough money per month to purchase the rifle he carried. In effect, what the amount of gold will buy today is relative to what it would have bought 100 or more years ago. That’s why there are so many “in 1950 dollars” type of comments.
      In 1972, I could buy a basic Chev Corvette for $3K, and the price of gold was $32 an ounce (+/-). In 2115 I could buy a basic Chev Corvette for $65K, and gold was $1200 an ounce (+/-). So, in reality, the purchase power has not changed for well over 100 years. (My exchange rates are guesstimates, so please don’t jump down my throat about the values- though the cost of the ’72 ‘Vette is accurate- personal experience there.)
      As to my purchasing PMs now… well, I’ve got some, but they’re not a primary concern due to experience (again). When I was serious about collecting silver and gold, I found myself in a serious situation where ready cash was unavailable, though I did have a stash of one ounce silver coins in my pack. There was no store that would take a certified one-ounce flat for any purchase. I couldn’t give the damn things away. Ended up stranded from late Friday to late Monday morning when I could find a jeweler- banks wouldn’t exchange the silver, either- who would purchase my silver.
      Point being, don’t count on them being of value to anyone who isn’t either a dealer, collector, or a very trusting soul.

  8. I keep “junk silver” along with my other PM’s. I do have a hard time getting them locally, so recent acquisitions have been limited to Silver rounds and Silver Eagles. When I had/have money but not sure where to put it, I put it in PM’s. Saved my bacon stash once.

    After survive the initial “issues” of a SHTF situation, and have your other stuff in order, then I like the idea of have PM’s in my “trade goods”. Right now, silver – and gold – are way down; when I sold mine I got $38/oz. for it.

    The best buys I’ve had was by pure happenstance. Found 3 silver dollars at this last gun show at about 10% under spot, and came in behind a lady at the grocery who was complaining the the coin counting machine wouldn’t take her dimes, $7.50 face. So I bought them off the cashier; at the time it was worth $113!

    I use to determine what my “stash” is worth, and if someone selling has them priced right.

    • oldalaskan says:

      JP in MT, for five years I had a company that twice a week we could count the fare drop for the local bus system. As we ran the coins through the coin sorter and then the coin counter we would look for silver American & Canadian coins. They stood out and we would replace them with junk clad coins. At the end of the month was the best hunting. This Christmas bought the DW a White’s MXT – All-Pro gold detector with the hopes to go nugget shooting come spring. My even go up the road to Chicken.

  9. Hummingbird says:

    Good subject for discussion this week.
    We save all coinage, separating the collectibles, but don’t buy any coins over face value. There are rolled coins in each vehicle, in long, narrow sturdy fabric bags for two uses. More than once we’ve had to use it for cash payment when stores had no power. Two, it’s a useable kosh & could come in handy.
    It is wise to have PMs that are easily recognized, not obscure coins for which you have paid a higher price. Having said that, I must admit I’ve purchased a coin or two because of the image. Some are exceptionally beautiful!

  10. mom of three says:

    After 2013, they changed the metal in the nickles, the new ones feel like plastic. So get nickles 2013, and eariler. I would stock up on seeds, that is my goal this year to have different seeds, and put two garden bed’s on the side of our house.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I still can’t find any official info on the composition change they talked about for nickels. If anyone can verify this with a current or official link as to composition I would appreciate it.

      • I go with They show the composition and the percentages and their “value” shows all the metal content.

        I know that they were talking about changing the content, but to my sources say they didn’t. But I was wrong once before two.

        • Mountain Trekker says:

          I have a ton of nickels, what a joke! Can’t remember copper or nickel every being so valuable, except maybe during war time. Sure wish I had bought junk silver. Trekker Out.

      • Lady, an easy way to discern first hand the change in nickel composition is to compare the weight. Older nickels are near twice the weight of the new “aluminized” (my description) nickel. Also, compare the weight of an old(er) penny to the new series- which are also “auminized”. The new pennies aren’t worth spit.

  11. Genealogist58 says:

    Great , great article . I totally agree with article . Having been without food for days as avid backpacker , food or the lack there of can drive you crazy . One time with a group of Boy Scouts on a 50 miler we ran out of food on day four of a seven day trek . The boys and the adult leaders simply ate too much food in the beginning of the trek. On day six one boy had a Snickers bar and was willing to sell . The bidding started at $10 dollars and went to $72 before I stopped the bidding. The boy refused the $72 and ate the bar .
    On the return trip home the group stopped at Burger King and gorged our fill . I reminded the boys of the $72 Snickers bar as a object lesson, that took place the day before.

  12. Okay, I have a question. I hope it’s not inappropriate to ask it here. I just don’t know where else to ask it.

    Is old silver such as “family-heirloom very old” forks, spoons, knives, etc., of value in the same manner as say old coins? By “very old”, were talking Victorian Period or earlier.

    If anyone can answer that, I’ll surely appreciate your time and consideration.

    • You can get that set of silverware appraised by an antique dealer or maybe a local PM dealer. If I had a set, I would EAT WITH IT! I’ve read that royalty was referred to as “blue bloods” because they ate with silver utensils–that silver built up in their systems and helped protect them from diseases of that era. Silver is a bacteria-cide and colloidal silver is used by many people today as an alternative to antibiotics. Truth be known, I paid $25 for an antique silver spoon and use it daily!

      • I did see that Emergency Essentials (beprepareddotcom) has their 16 oz colloidal silver on sale half price through this month. I do have a supply!

        I have not been eating with them. Hmmm…a 40 year old mistake, perhaps?!

    • Hi Pat…
      I guess one question is, if you really needed something, and a place setting of silverware would score it, would it matter then if it’s an heirloom?
      I suppose though you may want to research the quality of the pieces. Is there a hallmark… What is the percentages of the metals? Best to get it appraised.
      And yes, Goatlover is correct about the bactericide… when I had my motorcycle accident, they covered my open wounds with silver impregnated gauze to keep infection from setting in

      • Doesn’t matter to me, Chloe, and point well taken. I haven’t used them in 40 years. Just not our style.

    • pat r:

      IMO it would be “collectible” as far as value goes. These are other good uses for it, but if it is as a valuable I thin you would need an economy that is positioned to financially take in these items as luxury items.

      If they were excess to my needs, I would have them appraised BY A BUYER and see if it’s worth doing now or taking a chance that there will still be a market for it the next time PM’s spike.

    • patientmomma says:

      pat r, if the items are sterling silver they can be sold for spot price. I don’t know about age value; you’d have to get an appraiser to look at them.

      I have items which are sterling, pure brass, and some platinum items which I keep for future melting as needed. Any thief would probably pass them by as dirty old junk.

      • I’m quite certain they are all sterling silver. Whether they have any other metals, I do not know, but I suspect not, if only because they are very old, they belonged to family 3 or 4 generations ago, and they weren’t po’folk. They weren’t the Rockefellers (thank goodness!), but they weren’t poor – DH’s side, because mine were definitely poor dirt farmers – and Native Americans. That’s why I’m wondering – wouldn’t they be as valuable as any coin if silver becomes the acceptable exchange medium?

        I realize I could get an appraisal, but can’t afford to do so. I also have diamonds and semi-precious jewelry I’d like to sell, but can’t afford the appraisals. The best “offer” I’ve gotten to appraise on these so far is $85 per piece and the highest $150 per piece (to appraise). I have a lot of pieces I’d like appraised to see if I can sell them. All of them old. Yes, I could take one or two for appraisal..but being remote, just getting to someone who could appraise them is a good part of a day and takes fuel to get there and back, so, just trying to be careful with limited resources. I clearly don’t HAVE to sell them – getting along just fine without – but they are not doing me any good. And they are likely to be even less “valuable” post-IHTF. Bears, coyotes, deer, and chickens don’t much care what you wear around here, so, can’t impress them!

        So….back to square one. OH, well. Had to ask.

        • Americana pacrat says:

          pat r
          If the silverware is pure silver look for the hall marks on the back of the utensils. You will find logos, such as a lion then other marks, each one represents the makers mark, and the purity of silver. Good luck. I watch antiques road show.

          • Americana pacrat says:

            pat r
            Forgot to tell you these can be looked up on line and it will give you the missing knowledge you are looking for.

        • Hi pat r. Some Jewelry companies (on line – for one) buys sterling from people who make jewelry and have leftover pieces. They re-melt it to resell…I don’t know what they use as value (I think the on-going spot value) but it’s worth contacting them to find out…also you can do this thru mail and not drive and pay exorbitant appraisal fees! Just an idea.

    • Thank you, EVERYONE, who took time to answer my question. You’re the best!

      • One other quick point for what it’s worth. I have taken sterling silverware to sell to a coin dealer who buys at silver spot value and trades for silver coins. My thinking is that in a collapse situation I would rather have silver coins that everyone should (or will) understand the value instead of a bunch of silver that someone has to weigh and evaluate. The coins are just more marketable.

        Two caveats: (1) from the article, this is definitely something I would only do after other basic survival preps are in place; (2) don’t sell or trade your silver right now, as the market price is lower than it has been in a long time.

    • oldalaskan says:

      Old silver– Silver plate is junk and not worth anything except as sentimental or ornamental value. Look for “hall marks” Sterling silver, 925 etc. those have value. If you want to sell your jewelry look up a reputable auction house, you can find one on the National Auctioneer Association website, then do some research on them.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      Check for your silver flatware. They may be worth more than silver spot price to someone and Replacements will buy from people. Alternately you can try selling on Ebay. Sets always go for more than individual pieces, especially if you have a nice box for them. Check to make sure whether they are silver or silver plate, both have value but of course sterling silver is worth more.

    • Robert in mid michigan says:

      You will get the best price from an antique dealer that specializes in it. A pm dealer will give you weight only. I have tables at coin shows and buy and sell a lot of coins including rounds and eagles. My opinion on all of this is pms are a hedge against inflation and in a total Colapse will be useless but in most situations that are a personal crisis you can sell them In a day or two to pay bills.

      Ten% of your investments in pms is considered a good ratio for long term investments.

      Food, shelter, water, protection first then you can think about making a profit but be secure first.

      Personally my pms are a way to help finance the rest

      • MsBlindSpot says:

        Robert…how does the base price (spot price?) of silver affect the price of specialty coins? If you know….

        • Robert in mid michigan says:

          Lower value coins in the lower grade are tied pretty closely. The higher priced coins depend far less on it. A thousand dollar quarter isn’t effected by the price of silver while a 21 Morgan dollar with minimal wear is 80 percent the price of silvwer

  13. LOVE junk silver! Also agree that you should get your preps and supplies first. We also go the bank and trade $100 bills for boxes of nickels from time to time. Just don’t do it if you plan on moving anytime soon. Learned the hard way…all those boxes get heavy!

  14. Hubby went a bit overboard in the acquisition of PMs a few years ago…..that’s all I’m gonna say about that! We certainly don’t need any more. After 5 years of intensive prepping, we look around and wonder if there’s anything else we need to do. I actually feel like I am supposed to take a breather and give my body a bit of rest right now…not quit, mind you. But REST for the hard days that are coming.

    • oldalaskan says:

      Goatlover I understand what you mean. Over the past few weeks I did an inventory of my preps and while I feel you can never have enough at what point do you shift gears?

  15. PrepperDoc says:

    Yep, hard to know WHAT will be of value, WHEN. And obviously it can change, with food of more value one week, and antibiotics of far more value next week; ammunition the following week….! All depends on the circumstances. “Divide your portion to 7 or 8 for you do not know what misfortune may come upon the earth….” was Solomon’s wisdom….

    Skills & equipment to utilize them will probably always have some value. So I buy food, guns, ammo, silver, gold, solar, batteries, equipment, metal-working equipment, reloading presses; lead; bullet making equipment; radios; electronics repair equipment; diagnostic equipment; antibiotics; surgical supplies; night vision; infrared; seeds; fertilizer; lime; filters; generators; diesel; gas; EMP-hardened vehicles & equipment; … get the idea….. And I can hit a target as far as 1,000 yards. (I do need a bit more weight losss…….) Going to be fascinating to see the “Prepper’s Index” at the end of this month when I next compute it after all the carnage in the foreign markets….

  16. When Canada discontinued the pennies I bought up hundreds of dollars of them and sorted them based on year. All the newer ones that have very little copper went back and I ended up with about about $200 of older true copper pennies. The copper in them is worth about $500 at this point but you can also make bullet jackets out of them.

  17. Its all about diversification. If and when the SHTF, you never know how it’s going to go down. What happens if we still have power but the dollar is worthless? What happens if you need a doctor and the doctor already has enought ammo, firepower, food etc.

    As far as confiscation of gold and silver goes, check out this write up…

    The guys at jm bullion are pretty smart. I trust them a great deal.

    • Good answer, Tim. Everything is relative. Top priority? Likely not as mentioned by many. However, what if you have no mortgage and not hurting, fiscally speaking? What if you have a bit of cash? What if you’ve closed your wife’s IRA last year?

      If you are a believer in not having all your funds in a financial institution; if you read the headlines posted under “miscellany” here; if you are worried about the ultimate demise of king dollar and want to be prepared for any senario within the shtf paradigm then one must take steps to preserve wealth once the mainstays of preparedness have been met. Rickards believes that one should invest 10 plus percent of investable funds in pm’s. I believe more.

      It may not be too priority but it could be a priority nonetheless.

  18. I too agree with the article. I have some coins and some silver bars. Not a lot but enough that adding a half dollar or bar tossed in with a couple of can goods might get what I’m trading for. I guess it’s a matter of what’s it worth to you when making that trade.
    I have spread out my procurement between food, gear and ammo and keep my eyes open for that occasional deal on coins / metals… but I’ve had better luck with gear above all. I think that will be my better of all my barters.
    Being a career chef of 37 years, by all means I do watch the dates on food. There is a catch to that too… depends on what the food is, how it’s packaged and how it’s stored.
    Also, companies today use thinner material to can / package food… it’s not like the days when the Bomb Shelter Supplies had a 20 year shelf life.
    And in my case, I avoid purchases that have “USE BY” dates… I keep to “BEST BY” dates… (most things will last 18 to 24 months after best by) being single I have had to make purchasing and restocking work on a schedule. When replacing “case” items that can add up quickly especially if taking the loss on the product.
    So if I”m bartering food, I guarantee the oldest is going to be first.

  19. Owl Creek Observer says:

    I’m with you 100%, M.D. Way back in the 1970s I bought some Krugerrands when the whole country was talking about how gold was going to explode in value. The value on them dropped like a rock for several weeks but one day the price of gold just went nuts, several dollars over what I paid for my stash. I took them to a dealer that afternoon and cashed out. Naturally the price of god continued to climb, but I didn’t care because I’d prefer to sleep at night. I haven’t dabbled in PMs since and don’t intend to. I’ll take my chances bartering with a ten pound bag of beans or some other useful asset.

  20. Putting aside silver is not at the top of our preparing list , but we do from time to time purchase some . I divide it into 2 categories . I buy rolls of silver 1 oz. rounds on occasion and that is set aside as part of our kids inheritance . I buy “junk silver” and set it aside to use for buying/bartering in a time of SHTF . I buy both dimes and quarters . My reasoning is that when the SHTF , folks are going to soon understand that “junk silver ” is 90% real silver and has value and will accept it . Some folks may not accept the silver rounds .
    I think a couple of small portable fireproof safe ( $25.00 – $ 50.00) that can be easily hidden around the homestead would be a good way to store them .
    I recommend to pay cash when I purchase silver , no paper trail that way .

    • No paper trail… So right! Should a confiscation occure the first step would to grab the most easily found stash. That is why using cash is a very wise choice, even if it takes more effort or cost. IMHO

  21. We live in a different age as say the homesteaders, they needed a milk cow, large garden plot and a couple of guns for hunting and things like kerosene. Today with everyone either dependant on electricity or gas for cooking , heat, refrigeration etc., the guy that say delivers propane will need payment, it won’t be chickens or cheese he will except or even a coin that is worth 100 times face value, he will only be able to give face value credit.
    It’s kinda of a perplexing situation, if our dollar completely collapse’ s the government will declare a medium of exchange, we have to have something that can be converted to that medium.
    As far as gold goes, the high dollar value I don’t see as good, it’s not that gold is worth so much more than it is the dollar is worth so much less.

  22. Thomas The Tinker says:

    You got me thinking about that $200.oo(s) worth of silver…..

    $200.oo face value per spot, – 10% cull discount, 1-11-2015, 1:32 p.m. KitCo = $1933.75 ‘paper’

    $200.oo … ‘worth’ … of junk Silver valued at the above specs = between 13 and 14.398848 Oz. or….. a cup full of “Junk” …. give er take a dime or six.

    Doesn’t take up much space …. would it?

    • We keep a little of everything, try to cover all bases, like you said, doesn’t take up much space.

  23. My two copper coins (2 cents). Historically gold and silver in many forms have been valued as a hedge against poverty. People knew to take the family silver, jewelry, and coin when relocating. These forms of payment have been well recognized as sound payment. I would point out that money changers have existed since the beginning of coin useage. (possible post disaster career)
    I think gold bullion and 1oz and larger silver pieces would be used for larger purchases. Junk silver would be used as a means to make “change” for larger purchases, and used for smaller purchases. The most questionable form would be jewelry as it would be difficult to value individual pieces.
    I collect 1 oz gold and silver, junk silver, and gold wedding rings. This converts my liquid fiat currency into actual wealth retaining product. I also add monthly to my planned 2 year preps.
    This is a healthy financial foundation that death taxes can not take. It also covers my prepping needs.

    • MsBlindSpot says:

      This really makes sense. You’ve explained it very well. And you’ve made me realize that a value could be placed on it based on what the value was when TSHTF, with some sort of proof, like a print-out sheet from the net, or purchase/sales receipts. Thanks.

  24. MD, I sent you a link. I’m telling you here in case it went to spam.

  25. So this old saying goes: ‘…. in hard times, those who have gold will prosper; those who have silver will eat’…..

    Old sayings MAY be sagacious or the y may be doodily squat…..

    Prepping means ‘covering one’s gluteus maximus’. No one puts their eggs in one basket unless one wants to risk having a big omelette.

    Seems like knowledge of: 1- hard times; 2- monetary history & economics & 3- (the real #1) prayer are necessary to: 4- make good decisions……

  26. If you garden and provide enough for your own needs plus enough to barter, you are likely to be offered PM or a bullet to your head, or an offer to garden for the captors. Worst case scenario. If there is a modicum of social structure, take PM. It has been done in prior economic collapses. Seriously, I would be uncomfortable barteringand leading someone to my home. If my family shows up, not so much extra at first, anyway. I am torn between providing enough for all of us to eat and what to do with the surplus if I do. Some things I like I cannot grow here but if it got bad enough, you eat what you grow.

  27. TPSnodgrass says:

    We have purchased PMs as “insurance” ONLY, and feel confident in our ability to protect our savings. While we have some official savings in the bank, we self-insure those savings with our PMs that WE secure and physically control.
    We also secure those PMs and our home and family appropriately
    Using other PMs that are far more affordable than “traditional”PMs. We use only coins, not bullion whatsoever, by our choice. I do feel that every single person prepping needs to carefully consider using various forms of PMs for their personal insurance.

  28. CPA Prepper says:

    I am less concerned with “total financial meltdown” than I am with another banking crisis, this one featuring bail-in’s rather than the bail-out’s of 2008. To digress… if you don’t know what I mean by bail-in, you need to get educated. It will sting when the bank confiscates 40% of your bank balance.

    I view PM’s as a means of holding financial assets outside of the traditional banking system, without having to hold large volumes of paper bills. 3 reasons:

    1. Your assets are safe from confiscation in a bail-in. They can’t steal what they don’t hold. See: Cyprus and Greece.
    2. Many countries are moving toward a cashless system, which then allows them to offer (or charge) “negative interest rates” on savings deposits. Negative rates are an incentive to spend, and therefore stimulate the economy, rather than see your bank balance eroded by negative interest rates. By abolishing cash, they have prevented you from just withdrawing your cash and stuffing the mattress. Holding financial assets outside the bank avoids a charge on your account balance. See: Norway and Sweden.
    3. PM’s also should hold value in an inflationary period, unlike currency, which would be devalued by inflation.

    And don’t bank with any of the “too big to fail” banks. They aren’t and they might. Bank local. Local banks don’t play in the derivatives market (go see the movie “The Big Short.”). Credit unions are even better because they are member owned. Therefore, you are an owner, not an unsecured creditor of the bank.

    And lest you think that the FDIC will save you, consider that FDIC has $25 billion in reserves, with which they are “insuring” 9,283 billion in deposits.

    This is important. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

  29. I can’t eat metal, might look pretty but money is only worth something as long as everyone agrees it has value. If some national or international epidemic/calamity were to occur who would be worried about money? People would be worried about getting sick, starving to death and panic. In a SHTF situation money could become worthless in an instant.
    If any government decided that a country’s monetary system was archaic and went fully digital, what value would metal and paper money have? Probably nothing because it would no longer be legal tender and would be worthless for purchasing anything, it would no longer be accepted in retail establishments. We’re so close to this point now, look at how many people use credit and debit cards, no actual physical exchange of currency takes place, it’s all ones and zeros in cyberspace. I expect physical currency to disappear during my lifetime, it is already being discussed in congress and elsewhere in the world.

    Look up Ezekiel 7:19 in the Bible – “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.”
    This says enough to me, it’s why we live the best we can, treat people well, expect the same in return, do all that we can do for ourselves and then count on the Lord to help fill in the gaps.

    • Aussie Prepper says:

      col. D – you might be right about money going digital. If it does though there will be other forms of exchange for those who want to bypass the “system”.

      Gradually we are being conditioned to accepting digital currency. Both my kids look at coins as a nuisance – they are piled up in jars, ashtrays in cars and in drawers. I have one friend who does not carry any cash at all. Period. Not even a single coin. She pays with plastic always no matter how small the amount, even $6 for a couple of coffees, and thinks I am crazy for never having less than $500 in my wallet.


      • I take it that friend has never experienced ANY kind of “event” beyond his/her control? Weather-related? Seismic activity? Critters?

        Our power went down because a squirrel crawled into a capacitor box and was promptly fried. A crew had to come and remove the fried squirrel. Sadly, not enough left to taste! Our power went down when a snake crawled into a transformer unit and got fried. That was a night event, so, the power was out for a while. Couldn’t get gas at the pumps or anything else without power, all because of a couple of critters! Stuff happens. Stuff we can’t control. Never being prepared with a backup of cash is just not wise, IMHO.

        So, if they have never ever gotten caught, if that’s the case, then he/she has got to be the luckiest person on the planet, or…long overdue!

    • col D:

      Not to take a mean look at what you are saying; it’s right as far as it goes.

      However, we currently have a market that does not operate in “retail establishments”. I don’t see that this will do anything but grow under “exceptional” conditions. If the “standard, no-cash” retail model will not get people what they need/want, other alternatives will always come up.

      I prefer to cover as many bets as possible, and encourage others to do the same. Just because it has no value to me, does not mean that it will not have value.

      I also believe that “the Day of the Lord” is different from “The Days of the Lord”. Much will still need to be done in the latter.

  30. Good article!

    Several people have commented to the effect of not putting all one’s eggs in one basket. I agree.

    We cannot know what the future is going to bring. Therefore, if we think we can, and decide on that ‘certain’ thing, events must break that way or we suffer disaster. Betting on uncertainty is far safer.

    Given that, I don’t like putting a big percentage of assets into any one area, including precious metals. I think it is a better to spread things out: some money tied up in one’s home, some in good quality bonds, some in good quality stocks, and yes, some in precious metals.

    Betting the retirement fund on a total economic collapse is the quintessential ‘putting all your eggs in one basket.’ Wise investing is in large part about spreading out risk so that future events which hurt one investment may be offset by those same events helping another.

    I like having some precious metals, but for us, in our situation, about 5% of assets is the limit and we aren’t there yet. Other people might reasonably want more, less, or none at all, because everyone’s situation is different.

    In our situation, I do not think of gold as an investment, but as wealth insurance. For me, an investment pays dividends, rent, or interest. PMs don’t, so they aren’t investments.

    As insurance, which costs us premiums like any other insurance, PMs seem like a reasonable thing to have. (In this case, the premiums are the income lost from putting the money into insurance instead of into investments) Homeowners expect that their house will never burn down, but they have fire insurance anyway. That is because while a major fire is a low probability event, it is a high consequences event. Same thing with life insurance on the sole breadwinner in a family: death is a low probability, high consequences event.

    Just as we go decades paying for insurance we never need to make a claim against, we shouldn’t feel foolish about having some wealth insurance and paying some ‘premiums’ for it.

    One aspect of wealth insurance is the possible need to emigrate via a black market ie illegally. Think of all the refugees in Casablanca in the Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall movie by the same name. They were forced by the Second World War to flee their countries, and made it to Casablanca.

    One woman is shown trying to sell her diamond bracelet. While she may not have thought of it as such when she got it, that bracelet was flight capital: it provided her with money when she got out of Europe.

    PMs serve the same purpose because they are a concentrated form of wealth which people around the world have seen as such for several thousand years.

    Could PMs lose all value? Actually, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying no, almost certainly not, they will not lose all value. Thousands of years of history don’t guarantee the future, but they are a good guide. They may decline and rise, decline and rise, but it goes against all history to say they will lose all value.

    I see gold and silver as having related but separate uses. Gold is a highly concentrated form of wealth, silver is far less concentrated. Gold is for moving significant wealth through time, and possibly across national borders. Silver, being highly divisible when in coin form, is useful for making small purchases: food, cheap lodging, medicine, travel expenses, stuff like that, while one is making the trip to Casablanca. Gold is for when you get there.

    That is why I dislike big silver bars: they are not readily divisible, and that defeats silver’s purpose. I stick with junk silver coins and 1 ounce bullion coins by national mints: they are recognized internationally.

    I also am happy to buy sterling silver tableware if we like it enough to use it, and the premium over bullion is low enough. Anything bigger than spoons and forks lacks that easy divisibility of junk silver coins, but the upside is daily enjoyment. Within limits, that is worth something too. I would hold on to family silver because the transaction cost of selling it to buy junk silver is too high. Keep it in a closet or the basement if you don’t enjoy using it.

    I don’t like the idea of making one big purchase of PMs and calling that finished. PMs vary in value over the years, and it is better in my mind to acquire them gradually, just like other preps. If one decides to put a certain amount of money into PMs on a regular basis, say every 4 months, then when PMs decline one can buy more for the same amount of money, less when the prices go up.

    If one bought gold late in 1979, one lost one’s shirt. I know that for a fact because I did. Fortunately I didn’t buy a lot. If you bought in September 2011, you have lost plenty, too. That time I had already learned my lesson and held off.

    However, while the best time to buy is during a major decline, even the PMs I bought at high prices are likely to see higher prices if we are ever so unfortunate to see a situation so awful that we need to flee the country.

    Like food and other preps, I like the program of relatively small purchases made over a long period. It lets us spread out the costs, and it adds up.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Penrod: Are you referring to ‘averaging’ your PM purchases?

      • Yes. Much like people with automatic dividend reinvestment programs do: when the stock price is higher, they buy fewer shares, when the price is lower, they buy more.

  31. Regarding fdr…. after declaring most gold illegal to own, this friend of the banksters raised its value…. creating a nifty profit for his drinking buddies.

    Some gold remained leagal to own. Numismatic (i.e., collectible & graded) coins were allowed. Bulk gold, as used in dentistry, remained legal for some in medical professions.

    Bank/safe deposit boxes could only be opened by individuals when accompanied by an official. If gold coins were seen, either a bribe or a fine was paid & they were redeemed/ confiscated. A direct loss in the rights to private property were these onerous rules foisted on the American people by this socialist crook. He got away w/it then because so many were poor & ignorant of financial shysters.

    Many did not turn in their coins or bulk. This was risky, but entirely justified in Bobbo’s eyes. Silence is golden, as it were.

    These coins became usable on the black market, as will current stashes on shtf. Those most recognizable were the easiest to use.

    US currency will probably be more ‘barter able’ than family heirlooms, though some heirlooms will have collectors’ value. Hence will ‘command’ a higher ‘price’.

    Regarding other confiscation of personal property…. see the pictures in ‘The Black Book of Communism’ for how the soviets ‘confiscated’ seeds hidden by families. The leaders were so in tune w/collectivism as being workable, they literally starved millions to death in the Ukraine- the Ukraine had previously been known as the ‘breadbasket of Europe.’ Stalin exported grain while his people were starving- even resorting to cannibalism- to show how ‘well’ collectivism worked.

    walter duranty, of the new york times, was awarded a pulitzer for his stories portraying potemkin a success. Malcolm Muggerige exposed the fallacy. OMG- the American press lied & distorted back than, too?

    • Some of this site’s participants have voiced concern regarding devaluation of the dollar, making all citizens subservient to the federal government/the banksters. The following you tube video is lengthy, but its speaker covers part of the ‘design’ by which we are being subjugated. Overall it deals w/fdr’s lend lease program, by which the US ‘aided’ its allies in WWII. The speaker was in charge of the program, who when he saw the ‘goings on’ regarding the transfer of materials (secrets, uranium, patents, etc) decided to keep a log of the transfers…..

      Here is one of the speeches he gave in 1960’s, during his tour regarding what he saw. If you feel it’s dated & irrelevant, please note that these ( & newer) policies, Executive orders, laws, etc. continue the madness….

      The beginning 2 minutes covers a 3oz bottle of uranium which went missing from a testing lab. The furor this caused hit many newspapers, airwaves etc. He told numerous ranking officers: ‘no big deal, during WWII I shipped crates containing HUNDREDS OF POUNDS of uranium to the soviets’. G Edward Griffin (author: The Creature From Jekyll Island) narrates.

  32. MsBlindSpot says:
  33. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Last evening I saw the second prime-time add for a plastic card. I can’t remember the ‘who’ of the first add, but this one “Net Spend” jumped right out of the screen at me.

    Master Card managed card to which you may ‘Auto-deposit’ all…. allllll income streams. Seems we were talking about negative interest rates in here today….. I’m waiting to see a hard copy add for this to see if the fine print discloses a ‘transaction fee’ and/or sunset clause on accounts.

    I actually found it funny as to just how the banking system could jack up the inflation rate / cost of every … ‘Thing’ … we wear, eat, drive, burn, watch, read ….. No bounds on the ‘amount’ … no limit to the numbers and an absolute record of every … ‘Thing’ …

    PMs will find a place when this takes hold … right up there with those things you would rather not let TPTB or the general public know you own… or eat… or shoot… or………

  34. Concerned Citizen says:

    Interesting article. I would like to comment on your information about junk silver. I have researched and invested in junk silver coins for several years now and have to say that you have not provided complete information about the value of US silver coins. What i have found is that most US silver coins minted before 1965 consists of 90% silver. That would include dimes, quarters, half dollars as well as silver dollars. (nickels are a special case) Your article appears to indicate that only dimes and quarters would be eligible to collect. This is just not the case. Also, if you look at quarters with dates before 1932 you will also find them to contain 90% silver. Before investing in silver coins do your research to verify their silver content.
    I agree with the authors basic premise that precious metals should not be your first and only prep item. My view is that gold and silver is a long term investment. It is a way of securing your wealth for the future. Gold and silver have been a medium of exchange for goods and services for thousand of years and I don’t see that changing in the long term. In other word, the precious metals maintain their ‘intrinsic’ value over the long run and it is worth having if you can afford it.

  35. MsBlindSpot says:
  36. Regarding ‘thumbs down grades w/o explanation’…. I feel I am like most others on this blog- I post what I feel contributory,from the heart& what I’ve learned. Usually to help each other grow in a potentially bad (or series of ) situation(s).

    Getting a thumbs down makes me wonder why my post rcvd it. Was the post dumb? Out of place? Was the grade a mistake? etc.

    Thick skin is necessary, can’t please everyone, so I’ve got to please myself…..

  37. The problem with most prep plans is that the plans are for SHTF only. There is no thought about what if things only get bad. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is a total S*** Storm and 1 is things as they are. What is the plan if it ends up a 5? or a 3? There is a lot of room between 1 and 10.

    • I don’t see the problem with a mid level breakdown. I had one of those and ate from my preps for a year. Gave me a better diet while recreating my career. Plus a comfort of good food and not feeling deprived. I got back on my feet and immediately replaced the food. I prepped smarter the second time because I had experienced what it was like. A friend of mine who does not prep kept saying th I ngs like “it is like having a savings account” and “you don’t have to worry about food” and when I was locked in a couple weeks from a storm, “you don’t have to dig out, you have food.” She is now prepping.

      • Rebecca- good points-TY! Prepping is like having insurance, w/o the big insurance companies 1-making the big profits from the little guys/girls; 2- the corporate maestros conspiring w/their legal teams on how to not pay the bennys they ‘contracted’ to pay & 3- we get the bennys (benefits)….

        Let’s not forget legions of ‘bureaucrats’ administering (i.e., raising the cost).

        American society has morphed into a litigious society…. therefore auto, life, fire, catastrophic, health, boat, homeowner, snowmobiler, burial, accidental death, etc. etc. etc. insurance vehicles have risen from the primordial ooze.

        Due to lawsuits, we have to cover our ‘joey BUTTafuccoS’ w/insurance in America.

        To me, prepping is similar to another type of insurance, w/o the middleman (men).

        Hey, did Bobbo just now create a cottage industry? lol

        • I like the fact that my cupboardIis always full. The things I ran out of or missed the most were the things I replaced first and in greater amounts. I garden and that makes a huge difference, because fresh food is pricey. After that experience, I started replacing my beloved houseplants with evergreen edibles. I love snipping here and there and making a salad in January. I am turning a 3 foot cubby into a vegetable garden. One day a greenhouse.

          • Rebecca- kewl….I started some sub-tropical mini fruit trees 4 yrs ago….they are beginning to produce fruit.

            In Chicago area, so they will not live outside during Winter months…. so I potted them, bring inside. They are ‘deck denizens’ during late Spring, Summer & early Fall. Twin 40W grow lites & sunlight, minimal watering/feeding when inside.

            Mini lime, mandarin orange, lemon & banana trees w/a mango from seed & a pineapple plant. I’m happy due to citrus trees starting to produce! Going to repot pineapple soon, prolly this weekend when I get onion seedlings going.

            During winter, it’s refreshing to start the seedlings, a reminder the growing season approacheth.

            • Sweet! I have 3 dragon fruit cactus and 3 medjool date palms that should fruit in 2 years. I have grown citrus from seed but have given them away.

              • My hope is they will produce enough citrus in the coming years to offset any disruptions in economy (citric acid shortages) hich may be brought on by a shtf scenario…..
                Prep on!

                • I hear ya! Wild violets grow in every state and are very high in vitamin C (1/2 cup has as much as 4 oranges). They are treated as a lawn weed and killed off. My favorite salad green. If you have them in your yard, put them under shrubs or trees, in the shade the leaves get much bigger and are tender. In Texas they are evergreen. In the mountains here, they die back during cold weather, so I pot some up for winter greens.

          • MsBlindSpot says:

            Rebecca, what are your “evergreen edibles”?

            • Hi MsBlindSpot,
              What I grow varies from year to year, but right now I have a big pot of wild violets, a delicious salad green that is super nutricious. I have two cherry tomatoes in hanging pots. I have chocolate mint. I have onion chives and garlic chives. I have pineapple sage. Thyme and oregano. I have a big pot of cress. Another big pot of radishes, I eat the greens as salad and switch out with beet greens. I have 5 pots of red leaf lettuce. I grow some of my wild mustard every year, and this one is fairly mild with white flowers all winter. I pull it out in the spring because it gets too stringy. I got these accidentally my first year here, they seeded in my Rosemary. When it seeded out, I caught seed in another pot. I keep them going now.
              I have dragon cactus, date palm, and a bitty avocado tree that I think I will bonsai.

              i also make sprouts, I have a lot of sprouting seed, but my favorite is lentils. I add them to my salads and sprinkle on my soups when I serve them.

              Last year I had Rosemary but didn’t use it enough so she is in the garden this winter.

              I think my favorite is the wild violets, they will bloom next month. They are powerhouse greens, evergreen and yummy.

              • MsBlindSpot says:

                WOW!!!!!! Your house must be wonderful to be in!! Thanks for the encouragement.

                I do sprouts also; my fave is a salad mix of radish, alfalfa, broccoli, and clover. I keep a couple lbs of seeds on hand all the time. I also keep sprouting seeds and a small jar in my BOB…they can be sprouted anywhere with some water. Very healthy to have fresh greens of some kind in the diet…and if ya can’t grow things well where you live (like me), sprouting does the trick.

                • MsBlindSpot, I love those sprouts, too. Since I responded to you I decided to put some metal shelves in my second bedroom and add grow lights. It will become a greenhouse. I picked scented plants this year especially for my long winter in the mountains. It smells delicious!

  38. This is a matter of the state of society, a progression.

    If society falls to the level of a barter economy, then silver and gold will be of little value, as evidenced during the winter of 1919-1920 in Moscow. The communists had taken over and food became scarce. Lenin allowed the existence of a black market bazaar called the ‘Sukharevka.’ You could exchange using barter, gold or silver. Barter got you more. In the fall of 1919, a pound of flour cost a little over 4 oz of gold. It got worse going in to winter, to more than 10 oz gold per pound of flour by spring.

    Clearly, having gold was not as great an advantage as having food during this crisis. It will be the same in any similar crisis. We can’t eat gold or silver, so when food becomes scarce, it will take the top spot for ‘money.’

    This will last until society once again asserts itself with some semblance of order. It is impractical to buy a house with 10,000 bushels of wheat. Once society gets past the crisis, gold and silver will, once again, take their traditional place as money. This could also go through stages where other items, such as cigarettes or chocolate, are used as money. This progression from crisis to civil society has been seen countless times throughout history.

    My plan is to store the essentials necessary to feed my family, then extra to barter with. In addition, I plan to have precious metals for use once the crisis has past. The idea isn’t to just store food, or to rely on gold/silver instead, but rather to recognize the progression from crisis to a more ‘normal’ social interaction. In other words, they both have their place and both deserve attention in planning for the future.