I almost hesitate to cover precious metals as they are ranked right up there with MRE’s and night vision goggles. Nice to have but rather expensive and if you don’t watch it, a diversion of resources that could endanger your life. So, from the onset, keep in mind that PM’s are NOT a necessity but rather a near-luxury that you can do without. All the Yuppie Survivalists think that you shouldn’t buy PM’s until after you’ve secured your beans, band-aids and bullets. I will concur, but since you aren’t buying a $3,000 one year freeze dried menu, nor a $300 trauma kit nor $10,000 in semi auto poodle shooters ( one assumes, if you are still with me reading this ), you can buy PM’s sooner than the fat rich guy putting flat resistance tires on their Hummer. The thing to understand is that precious metals, while real money, aren’t necessary to survive. They are merely a safe transfer of wealth from one generation to another. But come the collapse, you don’t want to be waving around gold or silver coins anyway. They are for AFTER the recovery, not DURING a die-off. If you never have them, you won’t be imperiling yourself. If you do them, they are nice for the grandkids to have. But of course, given the choice between a box of ammo or a silver coin, I’d definitely pass on the PM.
Mankind survived for long periods of time without money. Since food was always precious prior to mechanization and petroleum inputs, it was quite enough to live by barter alone. You were able to buy your needed tools by agricultural surplus. Only recently has money been so central to living for the common laborer. Prior to the Industrial Revolution it was only city folk who needed or wanted it ( not to say a farmer didn’t want a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but he certainly didn’t need it ). And then only in recent history. If money becomes mandatory you can be sure a banker somewhere is skimming off his share, be that money paper or precious metals. So, no, you don’t have to have gold or silver ( you can collect copper cheap enough if you put the ungrateful lazy e-game playing balls of pudgy goo you call your children into forced labor and have them sort through pennies, culling the pre-‘82. If you buy a sorting machine, sorry, but I’m calling “moron”. If you can’t get your children to do this simple and sedentary activity, you all might as well all eat a bullet come the collapse ). Beyond a few, half a dozen ounces, put aside as insurance for emergencies such as buying one of the few vials of antibiotics ( search under “fish medications for emergency antibiotics” or something similar for making your own stockpile ) left or even come chronic unemployment needing to pay the property taxes so you don’t become homeless, I can’t see much need of PM’s.
Now, I bought myself several generous handfuls of silver coins, back in the day. That was when it would have been criminal to NOT buy them at $5-$7 an ounce ( and I was making two grand a month in tips at the casino. Of course, between taxes and child support taking 75% of my hourly wages, a lot of those tips just went to daily expenses. Still, I was able to buy land and silver by living frugally ). Nowadays, I would certainly not buy any silver at $20 an ounce. If you could find any. Enough paranoid folks are out there, not trusting King Kenya since he doubled our national debt the first term ( sorry, as asinine as the American people are I can’t believe they would re-elect anybody who did that. To me, tinfoil hat wearer, this is proof positive the elections are rigged ) are hoarding silver and gold to where the physical coins are not freely available anymore. I would not buy any without immediate delivery, not daring to trust the market which has suffered innumerable blows to its credibility in the last few years. If the e-markets are not more controlled than the elections I would be very surprised. You can of course still buy PM’s, but it is not so simple anymore as walking in with paper to a retail store and walking out with coins.
A very important point no one wants to believe is that for all intents and purposes, PM’s are disappearing as far as ore reserves. Fifteen years ago, the US imported something like 6% of its silver. Today, that is over 60%. We are running out of the supply from mines. The whole world is. The ore available is mostly high energy input, high financed metal. What is left is very low concentrations requiring heavy machinery to extract ( gold is worse ). Without cheap oil, or at least affordable oil, we would not be extracting any new copper, coal, PM’s or frack oil/gas. And all those operations require bank financing. Come economic collapse or severe oil shortages, all new extractions for near about everything the Industrial World uses doesn’t reach the surface ( I can’t believe a recent newspaper article where some dim-bulb from an Ivy League school said gold’s natural market price was $700. That is BELOW the extraction cost. I guess he doesn’t get out much ). My point here is that we will soon be out of PM’s anyway, and that compared to everything else we will run out of, it will be of little consequence. Yes, the price, if freed from central banker manipulation of the derivatives market, would skyrocket both from inflation of paper currencies and diminishing supply. But you would just be playing around with an endangered species. You could make a killing selling Dodo feathers, but soon enough you would be unemployed. PM’s are best left as a rich man’s plaything. Stick with the soon to be real and the only wealth, food.
All of my links and information: http://jamesmdakin.blogspot.com/2013/05/info-page.html