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Dizzying Intellect » Survivalingismist

Survivalingismist

Here’s what I don’t get. If you buy gold, with the concern that civilization may completely fall apart when/if the banks fail and cash becomes useless — gold doesn’t come in less than a half-ounce, right? Maybe there’s a quarter-ounce coin that I don’t know about.

But people are talking about gold being worth $4-5000 per ounce. So you have the money to buy a small chunk of land in Montana, maybe with a little house on it, right? Or a truck? With one or two coins?

What do you use to buy a loaf of bread? Or gas? Or a dog? If your smallest denomination of money (assuming there’s a 1/4 oz coin) is worth $1000? Help me out here, it’s been bugging me.

10 Comments

  • By Liberty Girl, March 12, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    If it comes to that I expect a reversion to the historical method of clipping off a bit equivalent to the price of a dog, gasoline or a loaf of bread.

  • By Tanya, March 12, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

    I know that’s the precedent, but everything was so much more expensive back then. I don’t see how you could possibly clip and measure 1/1000 of a 1/4-ounce gold coin, to pay for a $1 loaf of bread.

    And silver’s the same issue on a less dramatic scale. Assuming silver also quadruples, it’ll be worth around $80 an ounce, I guess. Could you even get 1/80 of an ounce coin?

    Without completely BS’ing the amount, I mean. You could take off a teeny flake of gold, but that could be worth anywhere from $1 to $50.

  • By Desert Cat, March 12, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

    Silver. “Junk silver” coin, which is pre-1960’s circulated dimes, quarters, half-dollars and dollars. Right now it is about 2% of the value of gold by weight.

    Or ammunition. .223, 9mm and .45 ammunition is ubiquitous enough to serve as a medium of exchange in the absence of other stores of value.

    And there are plenty of long-term storable staples that can serve as barter materials. Trade this sack of beans for that handful of tools? Or that bottle of aspirin for some emergency repairs?

    I’m not messing with gold. For starters I don’t have much cash that isn’t tied up in retirement accounts that I can’t access. For another I know very well that I can’t eat gold. Gold won’t provide me with shelter or protection against assault. And during the early stages of chaos, there may be few if any who will be willing to part with their own necessities for a bit of shiny metal.

    There are a whole lot of practical needs that come first–storage foods, medications, supplies, shelter, a place to retreat to get out of the way of chaos, and the firearms and ammunition to dissuade those who would take any of the above by force–before I would give consideration to converting dollars to gold. And that would be after obtaining enough silver to serve as “change” first.

  • By Desert Cat, March 12, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    Err…ok I see you addressed silver. But if silver quadrupled in price relative to dollars, it is likely that the cost of a loaf of bread would also have quadrupled.

    There’s always pre-1982 pennies (high copper content–not zinc cored) to make change with. Or .22 LR rounds.

  • By Tanya, March 12, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

    Aspirin. Good lord. I didn’t even think of that.

    Gold would be good for shelter, I think. Being a girl in that kind of society (which I don’t think will happen, btw, but I’m willing to entertain the idea) would either be really good or really, really, really bad. I’d prefer to have my own land and barbed-wire fence. With a moat. Filled with alligators.

  • By Ted Bronson, March 12, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

    Tanya, you can get gold bullion in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, etc. GRAM bars. Also, you can get legal tender coins from the US Mint in 1/10th oz denominations, or dos pesos (Mexican) legal tender coins that are only a few grams. Silver would be a more common SHTF currency, and you can get silver rounds in just about any amount you care to try for. The only problem with purchasing coins or bullion in small weights is that the price is disproportionate to the value–but that has more to do with the cost of minting than the actual weight of metal. (For example, it costs just as much to produce a one-half oz silver round as it does to produce a one oz round, so you are essentially paying a higher per unit price.) One the other hand, buying small weights, paying cash only for it, and keeping it stashed somewhere OTHER than a safe deposit box in a bank that may or may not let you in the door, is a good way to pad your get out of town bag. Just think of it as insurance.

  • By Ted Bronson, March 12, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Ah, almost forgot…Desert Cat was right about “junk silver” coins, pre-1964 dimes, quarters, halves, and silver dollars. I have been very careful for years now to inspect any change I get from any vendor I do biz with. Amazingly, there are still folks who will just plop a shiny silver dime in your hand without knowing what they just did. I also separate out my pennies like DC said, also. I go through the antique stores near my office about once a month checking to see if anybody has any old coins lying around and got really lucky with some mercury dimes the lady was selling for twenty-five cents each.

  • By It's me, March 12, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

    I agree that if society TOTALLY collapses into some kind of Mad Max world, gold will be useless. However, a more likely scenario is a steady deterioration into governmental collapse, like the Soviet Union.

    I try to prepare for all possibilities. I have 9 months of food on hand. I have 15,000 rounds of ammo. I have 100 ounces of silver (1 ounce rounds and half ounce rounds), and 12 ounces of gold (7-1 ounce coins, 12-1/4 ounce coins, 20- 1/10 ounce coins)

  • By Albert, March 12, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

    It’s much simpler than all that: credit cards!

  • By Tanya, March 12, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

    How adorable are these Panda coins?!

    I know. Focusing on bars. Maybe just one Panda. Because they’re so freaking cute. To appease our Chinese overlords.

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