Monday, March 26, 2012

I don't own gold

There are so many commercials telling you to buy gold.  It's an investment! It should be part of your preps.  As a prepper you are supposed to have gold and silver as part of your supplies.  Or at least that's what we've been told.  I happen to disagree. 

I do own silver, but it's the type called "junk" silver.  This means that I do not own silver bars (I used to collect silver bars in the 70s and 80s - but alas, I don't have them anymore).  I own coins.  My coins aren't the type that coin collectors want to buy, the pretty shiny coins that haven't been circulated or even the coins that may have been circulated but are rare because not too many were produced.  No, my coins are all from the era of the early 1900s until 1964.  They just have a high silver content and are worth more than face value because of the amount of silver in them.

I own dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars.  I don't own a lot.  Face value is under $200.  If I did have $200 worth, its silver value would be around $5,000.  I was alive in the 60s.  Why didn't I just save every dime and quarter I ever had?  I'd be able to retire if I sold it all now!  Oh well.  Live and learn. 

Why do I have silver and not gold?  It's something that I can afford and its fun to have some old coins.  I take them out of the safe sometimes and take one into my hand and think about all the people over the 75 or so years who have had that coin in their pocket.  How did they earn it and spend it?  Just something to think about on a rainy day.  

I used to have some silver bars back when silver was under $10 an ounce.  I sold them for some reason, I can't remember why.  I wouldn't buy silver bars now.  If I was going to buy more silver it would still be in coin.  Why?  It's still money and something that most people understand has a value of not only the coin amount but a little (or a lot) more.  A silver bar is harder for most to see it as money.  

How about gold?  I used to have one $5. gold eagle coin.  I don't have it any more and again can't remember why I sold it.  Probably wanted a new jacket or something.  Gold costs too much for me to buy.  Even if I did want to buy gold, just like silver I wouldn't buy it in a bar I'd buy it in coin.  

Over the past several years there have been incidences of gold bars being tampered with.  Just recently a 1 kilo gold bar was discovered that had holes drilled into it and then had tungsten rods inserted into the holes. Can you imagine buying a $50,000 two pound chunk of gold only to find out it only had $30,000 worth of gold in it?  Ouch!  Tungsten is a metal with similar density to gold and supposedly bullion dealer can easily identify it.  But not always.  A couple years ago a 500 gram gold bar was tampered with but sold as pure by a bank in Germany.  The same has occurred in Asia where banks sold tungsten filled gold bars. 

Even Ron Paul raised the question asking if the gold bars at Fort Knox are real.  He's wanted to know if our country's gold has been sold off or if it's still in reserve.  Same with Britain.  There have been reports that Britain's Bank of England has altered gold and it's falling apart.  They insist that "most" of their gold is in mint condition.

While some say that the thought of tampering with gold is enough to scare people away from the bullion market the other side of the argument is that if there is less mint condition gold then it's actually worth more.  When the truth comes out those holding good quality gold will have a product worth much higher value.  That sounds great doesn't it?  Not to me.

I really don't care about the gold market.  I should because our country's fortune is tied up in it.  Gold in Fort Knox is supposed to be doing its part keeping our country stable.  After all, our money used to be backed up by that gold.  Now we just print pictures and words on paper and call it valuable.  So OK, gold is important, just not in my everyday life of a survivalist.

I suppose if I had a ton of money to invest then I'd buy gold.  But getting back to reality, I don't have lots of money.  Sometimes I wonder why I even have silver other than I want to have some of, water, shelter, protection, barter items, and silver.  Reading most of these great survival stories they talk about bartering a silver dime for this or a gold coin for that.  I wonder if a silver dime would really be the bartering item or if you would be better off bartering with cigarettes, alcohol, a pair of shoes, or even a good steak?  Only time will tell so I suppose I'll just keep my baggie filled with silver coins.


  1. I have a habit of picking up coins as I walk across campus. I always check the date. I have a small collection of pre-1964 coins that I've collected. Nothing great, but still found money at least.

  2. I have one silver coin, it was shiny and I liked the etching/image on it. I do look at coins when I get them in case I stumble across anything worth more than face value.

    I can't survive eating gold or silver, if SHTF and someone wants to trade me silver or gold for food I won't take it. I would rather invest the money in food or supplies. The only reason I need coins for are to cover my eyes when I die so the crows don't peck the out.