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Gold and other metals for barter

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by CarlMc, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. CarlMc

    CarlMc Safely north of Seattle Active Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  2. nubus

    nubus Guest

    I would look into pre-65 silver coins. They are already worth 20-25 times face value. I'm talking about dimes, quarters, halves and dollars. These are 90% pure silver. They are also in denominations that would be tradable. After all if gold went ballistic and was worth $3000+ an ounce, what would you buy with a 1 ounce coin? Furhtermore silver has a greater potential for gaining value due to it's availability of above ground circulation and yearly production vs. demand. You shouldn't have to look to far to find some real info that isn't just sales hype. Silver should actually hit a mean value around $50 an ounce without hyperinflation or a massive dollar deflation. Anyway I won't rant any farther, the info is out there if you care to find it. I would be cautious with gold, diversity is always a good idea.
     
  3. cyborg

    cyborg Oregon City Active Member

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    I like the idea of collecting 1/10 oz gold bullion rds.... like coins. No bigger than 1/4 oz. Silver I would stock in 1oz and 1/2 oz as these will be decent barter amounts. Not too big. I would use the gold for big purchases.... silver for day to day stuff in a SHTF scenario. I think Ferfal suggests people consider getting gold chains so that you can break off links and sell them by weight when needed.... you can meter out value by number of links. I won't be bothered with nickels or such that has a $ denomination on it as I am planning to use mine more as barter with individuals and dont want to have to explain nickel content value or why a silver $1 is really $30. Simple metal and weight.

    I need to learn more about how to tell real silver and gold from plated or other fakes.

    I am not sure
     
  4. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Weight vs. displacement (volume) is pretty safe.
    Acid is the true test for silver, test kits are cheap.
    Plating is tricky, cut or gouge and you'll know for sure.

    That's the thing about pre-65 coins, not anybody really faking those.
    Counterfeit gold coins are everywhere, as well as plated really good fakes.
    Circulated currency has weights, sizes, thickness, etc. detailed and published.
    A 1/4 oz. gold currency coin will be an exact diameter, thickness and weight.
    If you have a simple reference it's pretty east to sort out the impostors.
    I do like the gold chain idea too, but same deal, is it really gold?
     
  5. CavVet

    CavVet Seattle Member

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  6. Craig

    Craig Northwest Oregon Member

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    Carl, if barter is your main concern, I would also suggest looking into "junk" silver, which is simply circulated pre-65 dimes, quarters, and halves. Since junk silver has been circulated, there is no numismatic value. The premium is usually the lowest for any type of PM; you should be able to pay a little more than 1% over the spot price at reputable coin shops. Also, these coins are widely recognized and most people already know (or will quickly learn) about their 90% silver content.
    Craig
     
  7. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Not sure about the pricie thing with Gold or Silver, but seems to me, that LEAD, Copper, tin, Brass, and Steel are worth looking into. SR
     
  8. cory41287

    cory41287 washington New Member

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    http://www.coinflation.com/coins/basemetal_calc.php
    checkout this link. about all the info on coins you will need to know. what years to look for, base metal calculators, ect..

    I myself have started to save pre-1982 pennys, they are 95% copper, the 1982's need the flick test because not all the 82's are 95% copper. Any commodity will be a barter tool, gold does no good if it can't feed people, so as suggested before a little diversity is a good thing.

    I have also started to look into long-term food storage. i'm sure in a SHTF situation a pound of rice or wheat will be rather easy to barter with.
     
  9. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Heading that way myself... I feel a 'how to" thread coming on.
     
  10. cory41287

    cory41287 washington New Member

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    its pretty easy. lots of how-to's on youtube. your basic set up is just sealed mylar bags in food grade buckets. oxygen absorbers are typically used in the sealed mylar bags. i've heard of shelf life as long as 30 years. seems very appropriate for our use seeing as how we never know when the S will hit the F. even at that i'm sure even us less motivated preparers can find time to rotate stock in 30 years ;)

    sorry not trying to hijack, so to stay on subject- i would suggest people start saving their pre-1982 pennys. quantity and purity is easily distinguished and its pretty much the last US coin in circulation worth more than its face value(1 pre-1982 penny=3 cents metal value, as of today) and make no mistake the federal reserve knows this, try going to a bank and buying "new" rolls of pennys, i bet you don't find any pre-1982's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm curious if SHTF what do I as the guy your going to be bartering trading with want with Silver or Gold?

    I have never understood how once there is no society to place value on Bling why anyone would think Bling will have a value.

    Now a side of beef a bottle of vicadin **** a bottle of Tylenol 3's would have a lot more value to me if you wanted some fresh vegis from my garden then GOLD

    I'm just asking.
     
  12. nubus

    nubus Guest

    As I said before, diversity is good.
    Many things will be bartered.
     
  13. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I have always wondered the same thing. Gold and silver has value only because value is placed on them. If the SHTF they have no value to me. I can't eat them, I can shoot them out of my guns, I can't otherwise defend myself with them, they don't make me better if I am ill and they don't mean any thing to me. I have been told that if you hoard them, when society does reform you'll be a rich! However, you'll have to live that long first.
     
  14. CavVet

    CavVet Seattle Member

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    If you are wondering that means youhave never read ferfals writings. Argentina went full meltdown, and just like every other 3rd, 4th & 5th world country from forever until today, gold and silver mean things.

    Better yet, you are right. Its worthless. Since supply & demand means your buying makes my purchases more expensive. ;)
     
  15. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Okay, can you explain it to me some way that actually makes sense? Maybe use examples, like real world examples of when the SHTF? Ferfal's writes about an economic break down with in an established country, that lasted about 3 years, not even as long as the Great Depression. Sure getting gold and silver has value then. The system rebounds, and the value applied to it can be reclaimed.

    However, I am talking about long term, generations even, no more going back to the USA SHTF, basically going back to the frontier era without a government or more like the dark ages with guns. Silver and gold are only worth the value people give them in this sort of situations. They hold no actual value, with the exception of using them as a conductor.
     
  16. Craig

    Craig Northwest Oregon Member

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    Mark, you're technically correct. Since gold/silver is actually money, using it wouldn't be barter. However, civilizations throughout history have eventually moved from a pure barter economy to one that uses a medium of transaction, and gold/silver have historically been used as money for this purpose. There are many different variations of SHTF scenarios, and junk silver could possibly play a role in many of them.
    Craig
     
  17. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    True, but this would only happen after a society developed and there was some ruling power to back up the currency exchange. More often in history things like spices, stones, glass beads and shells were used as currency. For much of the recorded history spice out paced the value of gold. For a time, so did salt. Pure Saffron at out paced the value of gold for quite some time, as did other rare foods. However, nobody recommends those, and there is a longer history supporting this as currency then gold. Grains carried worth as well, barely was used quite often as a basis for an economy.
     
  18. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well I'm glad at least someone else has a question as to why inert metal that is only used in limited ways (in a world without Intel MS and APPLE)

    I'm not saying anyone shouldn't put money into gold and silver it is afterall a pretty decent investment way better then 5.56 ammo and MRE's I'm just curious why anyone think of it as a survival need.