How Much Gold and Silver Should a Prepper Have?

Dan Novak Dan Novak

Dan Novak

October 10th, 2018 Comments

There are a few common misconceptions associated with precious metals and how they may not be helpful to a preparedness plan for either a SHTF scenario or potential economic collapse.

1. If I can't eat it, drink it, or use it to defend myself, I don't need it.

2. I'll just get stuck buying some worthless coins and never get anything out of them.

Although these are some generally popular perspectives, they are completely misguided and incorrect.

So how can precious metals be useful for survivalists when the economy collapses?

The truth is, precious metals are essential for survivalists and will help you stay prepared for all sorts of upcoming turmoil.

Below, you’ll find rebuttals to the common misconceptions about gold and silver and how they can literally save your life when the SHTF…

1. "If I can't eat it, drink it, or use it to defend myself, I don't need it."

Precious metals have been used as a stable store of value and a medium of exchange for thousands of years. Although you cannot eat, drink, or use it to defend yourself you can use it in barter or trade to get any potentially needed items.

For example, if you are trying to trade with a neighbor for ammunition and you only have water, food, ammunition, and first aid, chances are, he/she has those exact items also. You need to pay with something that can be used as a medium of exchange so that your neighbor can buy whatever he/she may need from someone else.

You won't always know what people may need in a barter or trade situation. That's why having a form of currency is essential!

2. "I'll just get stuck buying some worthless coins and never get anything out of them."

I say this to prospective precious metals buyers, it seems like, a thousand times a day:

"Stay away from collectible coins! Don't do it!"

Collectible coins, or “numismatic coins,” are like art. Their value is largely subjective. Some people might pay millions of dollars for the Mona Lisa. Personally, I wouldn't pay 20 bucks for it!

Don't put yourself in a hard spot to try to get a buyer who will pay as much as you did to get some mint special coin. The liquidity just isn’t there when compared to gold and silver bullion coins, bars, and rounds that are traded at their melt value. 


Bullion is the term that is used when trying to buy precious metals closest to the spot (sometimes called Spot contract) price. Ask your buyer, if they don't have it listed, how much over spot you are paying per ounce. The price of gold and silver is fully transparent and can be determined around the clock around the world. Getting the lowest Price per ounce is generally the smartest choice.

After the 2008 real-estate fiasco, the economy was trash! In 2011, however, silver jumped up to $40 an ounce even though the rest of the country and economy were still trying to pull themselves out of the grave. Precious metals are not only a good option for a survivalist perspective but they also help to hedge against inflation and perform well in periods of economic turmoil.

What You Need to Know for a Survivalist/SHTF Scenario

In a barter/trade situation, it's important to remember that having different sizes and metals is always smart. Having Pre-65 junk silver is a great option, it is in smaller fractional sizes, and, because it is 90% junk silver (containing 10% copper), it will wear well being handled more frequently.

Silver rounds, especially in the smaller fractional silver bullion sizes, are an attractive option. And consider getting gold for some larger cost barter situations too. Fractional gold coins are small but carry a larger amount of value compared to silver.

Best Silver Coins for Survival

Question: Should I buy 90% silver U.S. coins? I’d like something I can use if I need to buy food or other necessities when store owners won’t accept dollars. A friend recommended I get a bag of these coins, but the premiums are a lot higher than some of the other choices.

Answer: We too have often recommended pre-1965 silver coins. They are official government-issue coinage, and just about anyone would be confident in their authenticity and value. That, along with their small size, makes them a great option for people who want something to barter and trade. We would still be heartily endorsing them if only they were still low premiums.

Often, in times past, these were the best silver coins to buy at the lowest price. Investors could buy them at or near their melt value.

However, “junk silver” coins have become less of a bargain since silver prices began falling in 2011. All of the available inventory in the market must come from investors willing to sell existing stocks. (Obviously, these coins are no longer minted.) Learn more about how much is junk silver worth, then you can understand more about these silver coins when it comes to investing in them.

Most Folks aren’t willing to part with their stash as prices dip lower. There is plenty of bidding for what little does come to market.

As premiums have risen, Money Metals Exchange has been adding alternatives in the form of fractional silver rounds. These 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/2 oz pure silver rounds are now very popular, as their small size makes them suitable for barter.

They are more attractive (aesthetically) than circulated pre-1965 coins, and they are marked with their weight and purity.

These days, there is just no way around paying higher premiums for the gold and silver products best suited for bartering. It makes sense to prepare for a currency crisis, so getting a small portion of your holding in small-sized coins or rounds may be well worth a few extra dollars per ounce. We simply suggest investors concentrate the bulk of their buying on lower premium products – 1 oz and larger

Silver for SHTF

With our government racking up a national debt of over 19 TRILLION dollars and climbing, it’s time to start preparing for our currency to be obsolete in SHTF scenarios…

Remember: "You won't always know what people may need in a barter or trade situation. That's why having a form of currency is essential!"

Dan Novak

About the Author:

Dan Novak is an avid survivalist and precious metals specialist at Money Metals Exchange. He works passionately to educate readers and customers on how to become more self-reliant in our increasingly tumultuous economy.