Browncoats Unite!

Browncoats Unite!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The benefit of buying "junk silver."

Yes, silver. No, not junk. Junk silver is what numismatists call circulated coin with an 80% or better silver content. There are many ways to buy such coin but I will give a few pointers.

"Why silver?" you may ask. Well, for one, it is much easier to break down silver coin into cash. For example, even in a relatively minor SHTF situation, silver would be worth more than gold because it would be easy to use it to trade for needed items. The thing about any precious metal is that WHILE the S is hitting the F it would be very difficult to convince people to take it in exchange for things that they could use more than money. Some people will try to tell you otherwise--but think about it and examine history and then tell me what you think. Sure, you may get some suckers' goods in exchange for a sackful of silver coin on the first day of a major disaster, but chances are that as the days without government intervention or relief go on, you will notice that people will be more and more reluctant to take your "precious" metals. Chances are they will tell you to take your "precious" metals and do something very inappropriate with them.

This phenomenon is only heightened by the value of the coin itself. If the coin is gold, for example, it is much harder to break it down or know the value of it enough to want to trade with it. Platinum suffers from this problem even more than gold. If the coin is worth more than what people have to offer you, why wouldn't they want to trade for it? Simple: Their goods are more useful to them than your coin, during SHTF. Conversely, if the coin is worth more than what people have to offer you, why don't you want to trade it? Simple: Because if you make it through the disaster alive, you will have lost a whole bunch of tied-up assets (tied into the gold you bought before SHTF) and you will have taken a BIG financial hit.

The answer? SILVER. Specifically, silver that you can get on the cheap--often termed "junk silver" by coin collectors and mints, it is usually 80- 90% silver per coin and when you have enough of it (not hard to do) it is worth a whole lot, enough to trade with for sure, but not worth so much that it's impossible to get anybody to trade for it.

The common channels of buying "junk" silver are through both mints and auction sites such as Ebay. My favorite ways of buying both "junk" silver and "rounds" of 99.99% pure silver bullion is through Ebay. Just be sure as always you should, to check feedback ratings on the seller to avoid being scammed. It has been known to happen on auction sites. Tin, steel, or aluminum "silver" dollars are not unheard of.

Some good coins to look for:
Pre-1920 Canadian silver coins are sterling (98%) silver.
Pre-1967 Canadian silver half-dollars and quarter-dollars are all 80% silver per coin.
Pre-1964 American silver coins are 90% silver.
Chinese "Dragon" silver dollars are 90% silver at least.
English silver crowns minted before 1920 were made of sterling (92%) silver.
Mexican "8-reales" coins are generally fairly high in silver content (usually 90%).

All of these can be found online via auction sites and government mints.
There are also U.S. Barber dimes (90% silver), Mercury Dimes (90% silver) and silver quarters from the pre-1960s.

I hope you get into silver too. Remember, if you can't trade it off, it's not worth much in the end.
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PMZ

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