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What will precious metals be worth if SHTF?

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posted on May, 8 2010 @ 12:41 AM
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Given: a situation where society as we know it ceases to function, as so many members on ATS paint portraits of, and all forms of monetary exchange with it; the dollar, the euro, the pound; cash on hand, demand deposits, stocks; government bonds, MMMFs, real estate equity. The only value you hold is the value of the food, the tools, and the staples you have in your possession. And the precious metals; the gold, silver, copper, etc. Right?

You might read on ATS, you might hear people say "Stock up on gold. Its the only thing that will be worth a hoot when everything goes down the drain." Gold is a way to hedge your investments while the system runs smoothly. Gold is the way to hold your wealth after the system fails. Right?

I disagree.

My father and I have been engaged in an ardent debate over this very topic for several weeks now. If society got to the breaking point, did in fact cease to exist, and every family was out there for themselves, would you want a stock pile of gold instead of the food, tools, and staples you COULD have traded it for?

I, for one, am no where as prepared as I feel I should be for a SHTF scenario, and even those who think they are probably have some doubt in their minds; "Did I think of everything? If I didn't, will I be able to get it from someone in the future? What can I spare to trade what I need?"

According to my father, gold solves this very problem as it is fairly liquid when it comes to bartering for goods. But when I assess the situation, where I plan to be, there will not be a lot of other people around. So would I rather have some gold coins instead of a horse? A bar of gold instead of a sweet RV? A nugget instead of a drumstick? This gold really does me no good, nor does it help the person I'm trying to trade it to.

I'm trying to think of some practical uses for gold, silver, copper, or whatever you have. Yes, these things are all good conductors of electricity. But what am I trying to do, light myself up for the world to find me? I sure as heck don't have the smooth hands to draw at these metals into wire. The majority of applications of these metals today are industrial ones; nothing I can do at my 'bug out' location.

My dad also offers the argument that 'he with the gold when things come back around will be the richest'... at this point in the argument, all I can say is him and I have very different opinions of SHTF scenarios.

What do you think ATS? Are you going to/have you been spend(ing) your dollars stocking up on precious metals to go along with your emergency kit? Will you be able to safely transact with these precious metals when everyone is truly fending for themselves?

As soon as I assess that the chord has fully been pulled on the whole thing, my precious metals will be traded to my neighbors for as little as half of their value for anything that I can salvage.




posted on May, 8 2010 @ 12:55 AM
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Depends on the type of SHTF scenario.

1. Extinction Level Event, and you are only lucky few alive. Precious metals is useless. Water, food and a shade is more important.

2. National cataylsmic events:- such as viruses, wars, quakes, floodings, etc on a country level - precious metals will be useful for you to flee to safer zones and buy food/water/ survive.

3. Individual poverty event - you are your own most valuable asset, as you have brain, hands and legs to rebuild your wealth.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 01:04 AM
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They will be worth a LOT, don't listen to anyone that will tell it will be worthless. Sure it cannot help you directly but think about it this way. Say you have 1 pound of food and one pound of gold and you come across a man like your father who has 10 punds of food and 2 gallons of water.
Now you need more food and water, what are you going to do? Trade him your gold for his goods or are you going to explain how worthless gold is untill he agrees with you and tells you to get lost because you have nothing to trade him for.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


If I have gold after some cataclysmic event, I'm absolutely going to tell a potential trading partner how important my gold is to me and how it can benefit you.

But if I have more food than you and you want to trade with me for some of your gold, I'm going to have to think long and hard about whether or not what I have on hand will last me, before I start trading away my supply. What am I going to do, eat the gold you traded me when my food runs out? Yumm.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by NexGenRevolution
 


in the past it has been very useful enabling many to weather the financial storm and come out probably better than others. but this next one is i believe a super financial storm. gold may be useful in the beginning, but ultimately its tools, shelter and food that will matter. i'm getting a garden together and hopefully if there is enough time, a solid underground shelter, stocked with the essentials. thats why i chose 20+ years ago to live in a sub tropical environment, with good rainfall, and lots of trees for wood burning. it also has animals roaming around for meat. its also far from dense populations.
summing up; no, gold will have little use.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by NexGenRevolution
 




But if I have more food than you and you want to trade with me for some of your gold, I'm going to have to think long and hard about whether or not what I have on hand will last me, before I start trading away my supply. What am I going to do, eat the gold you traded me when my food runs out? Yumm.


You could say that about anything though. What is there "valuable" that you could trade? This is kind of how trading works...
In your above situation you would think long and hard about if you would trade it or not but that is fine. If that is the last of your supply that is the last and you probably would not trade it for anything, nobody would trade you 2 pounds of food for your 1 pound.
Some people think gold is valuable therefore it is.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:10 AM
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I was thinking about this recently and wondered about alternatives to gold. What about something a little more useful, like copper.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:18 AM
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Originally posted by zaiger


You could say that about anything though. What is there "valuable" that you could trade?



Yes, you can say that about anything. What value does my _________ have? How does _________ benefit me?

Food: I eat it to survive.
Water: I drink it to survive.
Shelter: I use it to protect myself from the elements.
Clothes: I use it to protect myself from the elements.
Horse: I use it to reduce the burden on my body.
Gun: I use it to hunt/protect myself.
Gold: .... I can't really do anything practical with it.

Point: These are all things that people will trade for/with, BUT if everyone has barely enough to get by, who's going to want to trade what they have for gold? Especially, when every one ELSE doesn't want to trade their scarce supply for something they can't use (gold).



Some people think gold is valuable therefore it is.


This holds true when everyone feels safe I guess.

"I have enough food/water/shelter and everything else to last me for a year and in the mean time I can get more to last me after that. I feel confident that I will be able to sustain myself like this for many years.

Hey I have an extra head of lettuce, I'd like to trade you for that shiny rock you have!"



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:23 AM
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reply to post by FrostForests
 


Precious metals encompasses all your gold, silver, copper, or whatever you have.

If its cast into something useful, other than jewelry or art, than obviously it serves a useful purpose. Whats more valuable: a gram of copper I dug up in my back yard or a gram of copper formed into a bullet?

Of course once situation X happens, people for the most part won't have the means to form their precious metals.

How do you, FrostForests, see copper as being more useful than gold?



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:34 AM
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reply to post by NexGenRevolution
 




Yes, you can say that about anything. What value does my _________ have? How does _________ benefit me?

Food: I eat it to survive.
Water: I drink it to survive.
Shelter: I use it to protect myself from the elements.
Clothes: I use it to protect myself from the elements.
Horse: I use it to reduce the burden on my body.
Gun: I use it to hunt/protect myself.
Gold: .... I can't really do anything practical with it.


That still does not really work and is not practical. Barter only really works when people are trading stuff they don't need, trading the last of your food for anything would be dumb. Trading food for water is a quick fix as both will run out in either case. In order for you to gain any of these things you would have to give up something you needed.
Gold holds no value to you but it would hold value with someone else, that is the most basic thing there is when it comes to trade. It is not about how valuable you think it is it about how valuable they think it is.



This holds true when everyone feels safe I guess.

"I have enough food/water/shelter and everything else to last me for a year and in the mean time I can get more to last me after that. I feel confident that I will be able to sustain myself like this for many years.

Hey I have an extra head of lettuce, I'd like to trade you for that shiny rock you have!"


Yes this is exactly how it works. Lets say i have everything i need plenty of food /water /shelter all of it. You have nothing but your clothes a little bit of food/water gun/horse and some gold. What do you think you can offer me? I have everything, but could use some more gold.
So you are honestly goign to tell me if you were ruffin it getting by with the absolute minimum you would not pick up a few gold rings or other gold things when you got the chance?



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:47 AM
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Think back to World War II and the trade in diamonds, gold and silver.

Even though *really* they should have been "worthless" they were traded for food and clothing and freedom regularly.

So if that's the precedent then I say that precious metals will still be valuable.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:51 AM
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Originally posted by zaiger

Barter only really works when people are trading stuff they don't need, trading the last of your food for anything would be dumb. In order for you to gain any of these things you would have to give up something you needed.


People trade stuff they need all the time. If I had no water I'd trade you food even though I NEED it. And you'd trade me some of your water cause you have no food, but you NEED water.

You will trade something you need for something you need more. Opportunity cost right? But you don't NEED gold.



Gold holds no value to you but it would hold value with someone else, that is the most basic thing there is when it comes to trade. It is not about how valuable you think it is it about how valuable they think it is.


Thats why when YOU decide that S is HTF, you trade away everything you have that you can't 'bug out' with, maybe even as much as your house; liquidate as many things as you can for as much as you can. Your neighbors are going to THINK it has value until that tidal wave or what have you sweeps their new found glory away.




Yes this is exactly how it works. Lets say i have everything i need plenty of food /water /shelter all of it. You have nothing but your clothes a little bit of food/water gun/horse and some gold. What do you think you can offer me? I have everything, but could use some more gold.


Well you can't really USE that gold. If everyone is like me, who's going to take it?



So you are honestly goign to tell me if you were ruffin it getting by with the absolute minimum you would not pick up a few gold rings or other gold things when you got the chance?


"Pick up" like.. find on the ground? I assume you mean run across someone who wants to trade me their "gold things" for some of my resources. "If I got the chance" and I thought I could trade those gold pieces somewhere else down the line then I'd trade you, but ONLY because I feel secure enough with what I had to trade you. If I didn't think I could trade that gold away, I wouldn't trade your gold for a pea.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 02:55 AM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


I guess what it really comes down to, the same that it comes down to now, is speculation.

Am I going to be able to find 'markets' out here in this desert or up in these mountains or in this abandoned town?

I'd be awfully careful about trading FOR gold and I'd be awfully excited to trade it away.



posted on May, 8 2010 @ 03:13 AM
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Lets be very clear... Gold and silver have a place, but after SHTF it will become most valuable long after the event.

Probably well into the rebuilding phase in fact.

[edit on 8-5-2010 by tim.vic.au]



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by tim.vic.au
 


Very well, I can accept that. Only because "rebuilding" suggests that people are coming together and starting to trust each other again and working to rebuild society. Indeed this is when precious metals CAN serve as a useful trade tool because markets will be available.

But I still hold that for a long while after SHTF, precious metals will be useless.



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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It very much depends on what the SHTF scenario is. If it is the big TEOTWAWKI, then sorry, gold is not going to do you much good and you would have been better off buying something much more useful.

If is a recession/depression type SHTF, then gold will of course be very useful. Another scenario where it would be useful is if you were to be on the march as a refugee from a war torn country entering a safe country.

Personally, I would much rather have more of everything stockpiled than having gold around. Items can still be traded like gold is but are far more useful.



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 07:32 PM
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King Phillip's War was mainly fought to replace the Native American medium of exchange, wampum, with the European one, gold.

When the colonists tried trading with the East Coast tribes, they found that their favored medium of exchange was worthless, and the practical items too valuable to trade. So they fought a war to destroy the tribes that controlled the mint, so to speak. It's value is truly only in the eye of the beholder.

Point is, if TSHTF, you could offer me a ton of gold for my tent, and I'd refuse. Can't eat it, it's heavy, and pretty much useless except as a paperweight as far as I'm concerned. A handy rock serves the same purpose.

If you have to move out and trek somewhere, the weight of the gold is better spent on useful supplies.



posted on May, 9 2010 @ 09:52 PM
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I suppose if you had thousands of gold bars you could make a 'pillbox' out of them



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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I can completely understand your arguement that precious anything, gold, art, stocks, etc... will be rendered useless and worthless should we experience a collapse. Cant eat a rembrant afterall, no matter how good it looks on your cave entrance.

With that said, I find myself in the class that believes gold, silver, and others have their place in a prepardness kit for the following reasons:

1. Yes, in the beginning, simple barter will rule the day for those looking to trade for missing items, but long term, as things settle down and the very unprepared die off, some type of currency will prove easier to conduct business with. Its much easier to trade a handfull of gold coin for a horse than building the guy a cabin before you get the horse. Gold has been the standard currency forever, humans are creatures of habit.

2. Should society be rebuilt, the items of value today, will hold value, or more then. A society must be able to transact business, there will be something to base the new money on, again, gold has always been the standard and would be in the future.

3. People are vain. People like to show their wealth, that they have achieved more than others. Simple fact. While pride may go away for awhile when people are starving and dying, eventually some woman will be wearing a gold necklace with a big diamond ring and my girlfriend will want one as well. Those who do survive and continue on will look to showcase what they have, that they have more value than the next guy. What sells that idea better; a gold watch, or carrying around 4 dozen chickens?

The arguement that you are one person, on an island, and will never see anyone again, okay, Ill give you that. Unless you like gold and fancy things, it wouldnt be worth a pile of beans.

Throughout the ages, from the time of man, we have coveted items and things that we believe hold or show value. That wont change.

Either currency, speculation, or vainity, gold, silver, platinum will always have their place in my prepardness plans.



posted on May, 10 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by salchanra
Gold has been the standard currency forever, humans are creatures of habit.


Not everywhere: cacao beans were the preferred currency of the MesoAmericans.

I think that given the awarenesses we are starting from, any new currency would be a lot different from what we are used to. It all depends on who survives in the largest numbers.



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