December 31, 2015.
You pay $15,000 in greenbacks (number picked at random) for ten ounces of .999 gold bullion.
January 1, 2016.
The economy crashes. Fiat currency isn’t worth anything, but you have 10 ounces of gold.
(1) Is it real? Probably not but unless you bought your dentist’s old X-ray machine for a couple hundred bucks, you can’t tell without melting it – and then the assay if going to be questioned.
(2) How much is it worth. Well, you think you have the same purchasing power you had with paper, or more, but paper is worth nothing. So it’s worth no more or no less that what someone will give you for it. I’d give you nothing – most people are not interested in PRESERVING wealth at this point. they need to eat and drink, and find a warm, safe spot to sleep.
I MIGHT barter a year’s hard labor for you and your family on my farm in exchange for room and board and as much safety as we can all provide as a group. But I have no use for your gold except to bury it for you and hope for the best.
But except in the form of x-rayed one-ounce pieces, or whatever the local blacksmith coins out of gold or silver, trade is probably going to be silver coinage at face value, simply because that’s an easy way to do it for most people – but on my farm, it’s food for food, and food for service, and that works in a subsistence society. I don’t need money anymore – and I don’t want any around to tempt people.
The most expensive item will be toilet paper. Really.
But back to the point. You bought PM with fiat currency which is now worthless – depending how bad the EMP blast was, you are probably walking or riding a mule between farmer’s markets. If you carry gold or silver, you will never arrive with it.
If you do, no one will believe it’s real – and how are you going to make change from a one ounce gold bar anyway? If you cut it open and there is tungsten inside, you hang from the nearest tree.
All that aside – again – what’s it worth? YOU think it’s worth at LEAST what $10,000 in greenbacks would have bought before the crash. But it’s worth nothing to me, so I won’t trade. Or I can set the price of eggs at $100 each, and then what?
You can keep walking and hope you aren’t murdered for it further on – but if you are, the people that did it will probably get tired of walking and bring it back to me; I’ll recognize it, try and hang them for theft and murder, and then bury it somewhere – and likely forget about it.
As you can see. in any societal upheaval, the very first thing that has to be developed is trust. And trust is established by honesty, good intentions, and good work. Not by silver or gold.
People are going to barter SAFETY, food, milk, cheese, alcoholic beverages, fish, meat, probably medicinals like coca leaves or marijuana – and maybe even tobacco or opium poppies. I grow bananas, squash, hot peppers, loofas, bamboo, honey, ducks, chickens and a few fish. All of that grows by itself and I’m not interested in trying to find crops that people will kill you for. So medicinals are out – at least for me.
But we were talking about pm – silver and gold. I can’t eat it so I don’t want it.