Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All That Glitters

This flier came in Monday's mail. People always say "you should buy gold as a hedge against inflation" and "if something ever happened to our government and/or the monetary system, gold is the currency to hold and behold." NOT SO FAST!

If you look carefully at U.S. Gold Pieces, they have dollar amount face values written on them. If there was a crisis of some sort, they are only worth whatever particular dollar amount has been attributed to them!

I had been under the impression that in a financial collapse, bullion coins could buy more than regular green money. This is obviously a fable. Although perhaps it could be used, in my opinion, as an object of barter, knowing that the coin would always be worth more than its face value. However, it is indeed disappointing that you wouldn't be able to purchase goods at least in the ballpark of what the coin is worth, noting that the true value of the coin is always going to be at a premium to its face value. Interesting.

US Bullion coins can only be used in stores at their stated value. A silver eagle is worth one Dollar, a modern one ounce proof coin is worth fifty dollars, a double eagle is worth twenty bucks... you get the picture!

To get more than this you have to find a person who would be willing to take the coin of your hands.

That person could be a coin dealer or collector, jewelry shop attendant or a bank that trades in bullion. Another way of accessing a higher value for the item is to place it in an auction.

Your coin would generally trade at a discount to 'spot' metal price unless it has some numismatic value.

Of course if there was law and disorder and financial collapse, good luck at finding a shop or a bank open, let alone an auction!

Just musing...
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