I have long been an opponent of hoarding gold for post SHTF trading. To this day I do not understand the concept of collecting gold in order to trade for food or supplies in the aftermath of a major event. Do not get me wrong, I understand the value of gold, and I understand the fact that humans have been trading with gold for thousands of years, I just do not know that you would get any real value out of it tomorrow.
Why do I have such a hard time understanding this? Well, here are some of my thoughts.
Gold is currently trading at roughly $ 1750 per ounce, or $ 62.50 per gram. So let's use a simple mathematical equation and figure that someone stocking up for the economic meltdown collections 10 ounces of gold. That's $ 17,500 for basically (10) 1oz coins.
Now let's say the shit hits the fan and your family is thrown into survival mode. You have prepared for this and can manage without help or intervention for 3 months. Once the three months is up you are forced to try to trade for your necessities like food, water, sanitation, medicine, shelter, etc.
How much gold is a day's worth of food worth? How much is a week's worth of food worth? How much medicine can you buy with an ounce of gold?
One thing people fail to realize is that in a post-shtf world the prices will not be set by the buyer, but by the seller. If I have a truckload of food I know it will be purchased even if my prices are high. Why would I want to take the time to figure out a new gold standard when I can just take your gold in return for a small amount of items? Taking the time to shave down a coin and weigh the peelings is much more time consuming than demanding a higher price for my goods. You will certainly be able to buy goods with gold, but you will not get good value for your gold reserves.
Another issue with using gold as a trading currency is that once someone knows you have gold, you become a target for the people that do think gold is important. Even a very small amount of gold is hard to resist and will bring you the attention of people that are sometimes not so nice.
So what DO I suggest you buy? Silver, in very small increments.
If you are already pretty far along in your prepping and have your supplies and plans nailed down pretty well you may be ready to look at financial prepping.
Financial prepping is something that I have concerns about. I am a homestead prepper so I will not be using currency to purchase food or water. However, there may come a time when I need medical supplies, ammunition or many other things that I can not get for myself. For this reason I have chosen to prep with silver.
NOTE: I am NOT collecting old coins with a high silver content. Numismatic values ??of coins will not hold up post SHTF because they are not based entirely on silver content, but also the coin itself. Also, I just think it will be easier to value silver if it is known quantities.
For these reasons I have chosen to gather up small amounts of silver in single gram pieces, 5 gram pieces, 10 gram pieces and a few full ounce pieces. All things considered I can acquire much more silver per dollar than I can gold, and I can attach real world values ??to it much easier.
As an example let's say my family needs food for a single day. I could probably barter some food for 5-10 grams of silver a LOT easier than for a few gold shavings that do not really amount to anything. Try shaving $ 10 worth of gold off of a coin or bar and see if anyone other than a gold or silver dealer will buy it. If I need more than a single day's worth of food, then I can purchase that with a few more grams of silver. Smaller increments with smaller values ??mean much more flexibility in buying and trading.
Another reason that I believe silver to be a better investment than gold is that both metals are currently inflated a great deal. Look at the performance of either one of the past 20 years and you will see that both have spiked tremendously over the past few years. The chances of them remaining high and going higher are pretty good, but there is also always a chance that they will drop precipitously. If a drop does occur I would much rather have a bit of silver that is not worth a whole lot than have a tiny bit of gold that is worth only a fraction of what I paid for it.
All in all I still do not advise beginner preppers to start buying up precious metals. If you are a seasoned prepper with solid plans and your preps are in order than I can certainly understand you taking the next step in your prepping, carefully. Just do not start short changing your prepping in exchange for a bit of pretty metal.