I've been hearing about gold and watching the price go up, and am considering getting a little, but doing some initial looking into it, I'm having a hard time separating hype from wisdom. Not that ya'll will do much better, but I suspect there are less gold retailers here than on the web My questions relate to its forms and practical aspects of trade/barter in the future. I've been doing some reading about nickels and how the nickel's increasing value has been making the nickel metal in the nickel coin worth more than the face value, although not much at this point. If the price continues to rise, that the current or older nickel could possibly be a bartering unit in the future, more likely before the gubment changes the recipe to bring the manufacturing cost down to below the face value. It's difficult to get past the bulk/weight and the very likely possibility that if the economy crashes, the demand for nickel from the industrial applications (the biggest user) will also fall, taking the value with it. That same issue could apply to other semi and non semi-precious metals such as platinum and similar metals, although industrial applications for gold aren't the major price driver. On the topic of gold and other metals, coins are more likely to be a rather large unit value for barter on a day to day basis, and difficult to be divided down to more practical unit values. As well, how is one easily able to trust that the coin or metal before them is of sufficient purity to be trustworthy? I came across something on the web (for what _that's_ worth where some dealers are selling diluted gold or simply plated lead. Given that it's unlikely folks want to cut up their coin/metal pieces to verify its consituents, and that the un-backed currency will be a poor substitute for barter, what are the options or considerations? I wasn't thinking of using ammo for barter, while that's not off my list of options. It's also not going to be on everyone's wish list for that purpose, which decreases its versatility.