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Because there are a lot of rich people out there that only use gold as jewelry.
In a Mad Max scenario there would be no need for a space program. The elites mentioned in another post would probably be the only ones going into space.
I bet there would be those who would gladly exchange a bar of gold for...
A pack of cigarettes...
A few oxycodones or hydrocodones...
A bottle or two of booze...
People who have addictions of one thing or another will be hurting pretty good and I'd wager they'd gladly trade gold to satiate those addictions.
To your point, though, I really doubt the Federal Reserve Bank used Germany's nearly 700 tons of gold to make jewelry. What would they do with it? Sell it? They are the Federal Reserve, they print all the money they need. So why not return the gold, if they have it. If not, what happened to it? If the Fed does have it, why hold on to it if it's just a shiny metal taking up space?
You are overlooking some of the other properties of gold. It is extremely acid resistant. It makes first rate heat and radiation shielding. It is an excellent electrical conductor, and it's non-tarnishing properties make for electronic equipment with unmatched reliability. It's very ductile and malleable, an ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire up to 50 miles long, it can be hammered into sheets thousands of an inch thick.
I can go on and on about the known properties of gold, but I can't help but wonder about what properties may not be so well known. It's generally thought that secret technologies being developed by governments may be up to 50 years ahead of the technologies available commercially. Who knows what new technologies may depend heavily on gold? Is that why the Fed doesn't want to give up any?
I think salt would likely become a high priotity tradable commodity as it was a couple thousand years ago.