Currency in Failed Economy

What will people use for currency if the economy fails? This is a question that gnaws at those who wish to be prepared for every eventuality. Of course, history shows there will certainly be some bartering within communities, so your goods and skills will become commodities. But what else? The answer lies in intrinsic value. What has innate value? Not paper, as the Confederates learned to their sorrow. Confederate currency makes a delightful addition to a collector’s display, but we likely won’t be using it to buy bread anytime soon. On the other hand, Precious Metals offer stability and intrinsic value, and have always represented buying power. In the event of a failed economy, we have every reason to believe that Gold and Silver will become the go-to currency. Let’s explore some of the “whys” and “hows” of collecting Precious Metals as a hedge against a failed economy.

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

Buying physical Gold and Silver makes sense for several reasons. Certainly Precious Metals in the form of coins make beautiful heirloom gifts. A Gold coin can be handed down for generations and is a sentimental means of passing on real, tangible wealth to your loved ones. Buying physical Gold also makes good sense when you wish to build a diverse investment portfolio. Historically, Silver and Gold prices move independently of stocks and bonds, meaning they may protect you from bottoming out in a downturn. A well-balanced portfolio is key to protecting your wealth. More importantly, in the case of an economic collapse, Gold and Silver have intrinsic value. Buying physical Gold and Silver means that in the catastrophic event your fiat currency becomes useless, you would still have means to procure your necessities. Further, Precious Metals’ purchasing power has remained relatively stable, meaning the same amount of Silver would get you roughly the same amount of goods in 1950, 1980 and right now. In the event of a failed economy, that kind of security is worth its proverbial weight.

How to Begin Buying Physical Gold and Silver

Silver coins are an excellent entrée into buying physical Gold and Silver. Simple and unintimidating, Silver coinage can be had for a small outlay and is satisfying to own. Further, if you examine historical Silver prices, you can see that while there are some impressive spikes, Silver holds its value well in general and offers long-term growth opportunity. For these reasons, Silver coins are an ideal way to get started in buying physical Gold and Silver.

U.S. coins used to be made with a high Silver content — up to 90% — which means there is actually bullion value in U.S. coinage minted before the early 1960s. Those coins are both beautiful and valuable now, but they are not hard to obtain from a reputable dealer in Silver. For example, the 1922 Silver Dollar is a high-Silver-content coin that is accessible even to a young Silver buyer. It is an attractive piece of history with intrinsic value that may become useful currency in the future, as .7734 oz of pure Silver is a good deal of Precious Metal. In the event of a failed economy, Silver Dollars would likely be viable currency, but looking at historical Silver prices, we know smaller weights of Silver may be more negotiable. An affordable opportunity to have small Silver currency on hand presents itself in these 90% Silver Roosevelt Dimes. Mentioned earlier was the relative buying power of Silver. A dime could represent a great deal more in goods or services than we have been accustomed to in our lifetime. It is theoretically possible that Silver dimes could become the most negotiable currency of all.

While no one would wish to see the economy fail, many things that we do not wish come to pass anyway. Preparedness after careful consideration is the best course of action. Currency used after total economic failure would almost certainly be varied, but Silver and Gold will always represent buying power.

Helpful Resources

How to Invest in Precious Metals (2:38)

See how Gold, an ancient storehouse of wealth, plays a vital role in modern investment portfolios. Watch Video

The Precious Metals Guide: Insights & Services

Written to acquaint you with Precious Metals investing and all the ways APMEX helps you succeed. Read more

Market Updates

Monitor the performance of Gold and Silver with daily market commentaries. Learn More


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