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#142720 - 08/04/08 12:16 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: OldBaldGuy]
adam2 Offline

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 427
Loc: Somerset UK
Gold has been a traditional store of value since ancient times, and has very roughly held its value in the long term. In ancient Roman times an ounce of gold was worth about 300 loaves of bread, today it is still worth about 300 loaves. (no great accuracy can be claimed, since loaves vary a lot in size, qaulity and weight)

However you cant eat it, and neither will it keep you warm.

A stash of blankets, warm clothing, shoes/boots, fuel, long life foods, seeds, tools, etc is more likely to save your life than gold.
If however you already have good stores of the above, and other useful supplies, than I believe that gold is worth considering.

#142722 - 08/04/08 12:25 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: Art_in_FL]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
I absolutely LOVE replies like this. Thought out, sourced with facts, calm, and most of all, useful!

THANK YOU for going into a "hot zone" of forum topics so well equipped for the heat that will come.

#142768 - 08/04/08 03:14 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Rodion Offline

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 285
Loc: Israel
I assume you are asking about the barter viability of silver in a scenario where cash and credit cards have, somehow, lost their value.

Additionally, I'm not sure what the conditions are: is it about preserving your overall wealth post-whatever, or bartering with others while on the move?

In any case, I heard salt can be a good investment: it has enormous value when scarce and that value can be easily verified by taste. The downside is bulk, but at least you're not hauling dead weight...
Whenever you rest, someone, somewhere is training to kick your ass.


#142781 - 08/04/08 04:24 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: Rodion]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
I see two and only one reasons to have any precious metal, stone or something with numismatic value as part of a survival strategy.

If you foresee the possiblity of having to pick up and move a long distance, with most of your property and assets left behind, these can be a way to transport the value, by carrying it with you.

Forexample, let's say you have stocked well in preparation for some calamity, survived it, have plenty of goods, more than you can trasnport and you want to move. If what you have has value, then abandoning it may not be the best idea. If you had precious metals or traded things it, then you can transport an asset of value. In other words, I could carry a signifcant value in these things, and that might be a good option to have.

The second would be as a hedge against the complete collapse of the economy. If things really tank, and you make it for a while, then they may have value in trade. But we'd need to be back toward a barter only economy, and that's pretty bleak.

You can also find them to be just a worthwhile thing to invest in, but that's not something I would ever advise anyone on.

Edited by Dan_McI (08/04/08 04:25 PM)

#142849 - 08/04/08 10:14 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: Art_in_FL]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
I think if I were trying to get an economy started again, I'd want to base it on that I controlled, like notes that I'd printed myself. I wouldn't based it on something like gold because there could be people with large stashes of it. You'd have no idea how much was in circulation. I think you'd want new wealth to be based on what people did of value after the crisis, not on what they happened to have inherited from before it.

I could be wrong, though. You'd also want something that was difficult to forge.
Quality is addictive.

#142852 - 08/04/08 10:25 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: Brangdon]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
Originally Posted By: Brangdon
I think if I were trying to get an economy started again, I'd want to base it on that I controlled, like notes that I'd printed myself. I wouldn't based it on something like gold because there could be people with large stashes of it. You'd have no idea how much was in circulation.

And it’s hard to make more gold, not so hard to print more money…

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#142863 - 08/04/08 11:34 PM Re: Precious metals? [Re: OldBaldGuy]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
Speaking of diamonds, long long ago I was engaged to the wrong girl. I got the ring back, and, being in the service and short of cash, I took it back to the high end jewlery store where I bought it (paying much more than I could afford, they shamed me into it), hoping for some bucks. The same guy who sold it to me, looking down his nose, informed me that "we don't buy used diamonds." Then I went to a pawn shop. What they offered was a joke. So my daughter now has the set...

That reminds me of an article I read while I was researching for diamonds.

Have you ever tried to sell a diamond?

It's a long read, but I found it very interesting. For those of you who don't have the patience, here are the cliff notes.

1) Diamonds have almost no resale value. The end.

Sorry you had to find out the hard way. Diamonds are not rare, and they aren't intrinsically valuable. There is only one reason for their exhorbitant price, and that's marketing.

After reading that article, I tend to think of precious metals in a similar way. Right now, in a non-emergency situation, how easy is it to barter PM's with random people in exchange for goods? Could you go to the store and actually buy anything with gold or silver? With all the fraud out there, I personally wouldn't take anything that I couldn't verify 100%, and even if i could I wouldn't be paying anywhere near it's full value, because I'm going to minimize my risk by lowballing the price. If an emergency, I'm not sure I'd even consider it.

Edited by ducktapeguy (08/04/08 11:51 PM)
Edit Reason: i suckz at spelling

#142879 - 08/05/08 01:29 AM Re: Precious metals? [Re: ducktapeguy]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
It's a long read, but I found it very interesting. For those of you who don't have the patience, here are the cliff notes.

1) Diamonds have almost no resale value. The end.

Sad isn't it?

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#142886 - 08/05/08 02:22 AM Re: Precious metals? [Re: BobS]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
But what about those guys in the movies with a couple of diamonds imbedded under their skin? They get into a tight spot, cut the stones out, and are rich again. laugh laugh laugh

#142887 - 08/05/08 02:28 AM Re: Precious metals? [Re: Art_in_FL]
AROTC Offline

Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
I posted my view on precious metals already in the "Diapers?" thread, but since there's a thread dedicated to it I'll post here as well. The reason I didn't post here earlier is I wanted to hear other people's opinions on the subject before I posted my same arguement again.

From what I've seen so far, most people here are against the idea buying gold or silver (I don't suggest platinum or palladium the other two precious metals which have ISO currency codes because of their extravagant prices and to some extent obscurity). The arguments against seem to be; gold and silver can be faked, gold and silver are poor investments, and you won't be able to trade gold and silver in an emergency.

For our purposes, the investment value of precious metals really doesn't matter. Buying gold as a financial investment may or may not be a good investment (opinions vary wildly), the real question is whether its a good investment in money against a future emergency ranging from a hurricane to a complete collapse of civilization.

Lets consider precious metals along side other preparedness related purchases. 50 lbs of rice for instance. 50bls of rice will cost you in the neighborhood of 25 dollars (guessing its been a while since I priced rice at the supermarket or Costco). You cannot resell this back to the supermarket, the rice can get wet and rot or otherwise go bad, the rice can be infested with insects or rodents, the rice is bulky and care must be taken when storing it, and the rice will be difficult to carry if you have to pick up and leave. These same risks are true for any food purchase, even MREs, dehydrated and canned goods. A firearm is another example. A gun is purchased either for self-defense or for hunting. If you buy a firearm you also have to purchase a large supply of ammunition or risk not having any. This is a 500-2000 dollar investment. Risks involve include everything from not having anything to hunt or anyone to fight off, meaning your investment was in vain, up to having an unauthorized person get a hold of the weapon and kill or maim them self or someone else.

The risks involved with gold and silver are that it can be stolen from you (possibly with you being killed or maimed in the process), no one being willing to trade for it, the gold or silver could be a fake and the person you are trading to knows this (if no-one knows its a fake, no problem). The first risk can be mitigated by many of the same kind of techniques necessary for either good security of other preparedness stocks. Likewise with the problem of fakes, just as you buy firearms from a reputable dealer or inspect food for problems before relying on it, you buy gold and silver carefully and you won't get burned. Businesses who rely on their reputation will not risk it just to screw one customer. This is especially true of establishments like the US mint. Finally, the question of whether gold and silver will be accepted by people as currency after a disaster.

I will concede that we simply don't know. People who have little may not be willing to trade any of it for gold and silver. But look at the people around you, the people you meet every day and ask yourself if they value gold. Odds are the answer is yes. You could even do an informal poll of people and see what they think (an unbiased poll, asking people if they'd trade their last meal for a shiny coin is not exactly unbiased). The truth is, people like gold and silver. They value it. Its not a transitory value, people have valued it for a long, long time. And regardless of whether or not it makes sense to value metal, people do. The current price of gold may be high, but even if it drops, it will never drop to zero.

Now my arguments for precious metals. First, they concentrate value. Two-hundred dollars in gold makes a very small package. Its easy to carry and I think the value of trade is biggest if you're on the move. How many people here are willing to give someone your address and advertise that you have anything of value? You might find your place broken into or burned down around your ears. Traveling on the other hand, you have the opportunity to meet lots of different people and avoid more hostile areas and

Lets face it, if you have to travel a long distance you cannot carry everything you might need to get to your destination. People who do long distance races like the Iditarod or people who hike the Appalachian Trail have supplies cached or carried to link up points by other people. If you have to bug out, the ability to buy more supplies will be helpful and probably essential. Under most circumstances, good old cash will do this job just fine. Probably better then gold or silver as you pointed out. However, in a large scale disaster, cash will devalue much faster and more readily then precious metal. And gold and silver have a strong psychological impact that may achieve results paper money cannot. Remember, we're not trying to buy from the Gap or Whole Foods. We're buying from people on the street. And as I learned in high school, you can buy with and sell just about anything from/to regular people.

How much have you spent on survival gear or preparations? How does 200-300 dollars of an essentially liquifiable asset compare?
A gentleman should always be able to break his fast in the manner of a gentleman where so ever he may find himself.--Good Omens

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