With the recent downturn in the Chinese stock market and our economy in flux I thought it might be a good time to publish this post. I’ve been saving it in the queue for a while and feel it’s a good moment to interrupt the posts on Willet to pass along some good 72 Hour Bag info. The next installment of Willet will be published next Monday at 11am PST.
In this post I’d like to discuss valuable coins and value. There are mainly two types of coins or currency which apply to a 72 Hour Bag or Prepping. One is Constitutional Silver, or sometimes referred to Junk Silver. It’s called Constitutional Silver because some people believe it is referred to in the Constitution as the currency mandated, since we have gone away from the Gold Standard some feel we are in violation of the Constitution. These people argue that coins containing 90% silver is the true currency. It’s actually not very true but I like the term Constitutional Silver better than Junk Silver because in terms of value the stuff we are using today is the junk and coins with silver actually have value. From a Government point of view you can understand why they would stop using silver in coins, it costs them much more to make a quarter with silver. Constitutional Silver coins were minted prior to 1964 and contain 90% silver. They are valuable because their weight in silver is more valuable than their face value. For example you may find that when the price of silver is high a quarter from 1964 can be worth $5.00. There are mainly four coins you should keep an eye out for when looking for Constitutional Silver:
The Silver DollarThe Silver 1/2 DollarThe QuarterThe Dime
Nickels do not count because, well, they are made from nickel and not silver.
The other type of coins which some people look for are called Numismatic Coins, these are coins which have value to a collector. The key to the whole game is the part I just said: “to a collector”. They have no value other than either their weight in silver, gold or their face value. This is very important because if you are trying to sell a Numismatic coin you have to find a buyer, to the average person a penny from 1909 is just that, a penny. To a collector it could be worth $100. This is why I classify these coins as Pokemon Cards. To you and I it’s just a flimsy piece of cardboard, but to an 8 year old kid it’s worth every leggo he owns.
So why do people collect Numismatic Coins? One reason is for the fun of coin collecting, the other reason is Executive Order 6102 by Franklin D Roosevelt in 1933.
Roosevelt ordered that no citizen shall possess Gold or Silver. The reason was that the hoarding of Gold and Silver was making the depression worse. Since the depression the rules have loosened and it is legal to possess Gold and Silver, but because of this order some feel the government can reinstate this executive order and do another mass seizure of Gold and Silver. The reason Numismatics are popular for people who think this scenario may come true is that Numismatics do not fall under the category of bullion. They are “collectables” and their value is in the specific reason they stand out.
If you are interested in looking for coins of value here is a handy graphic by my friends at the Renton Coin Shop. At a local coin shop you can buy either Constitutional (Junk) Silver or Numismatic coins. Remember though in a grid down emergency even a quarter from 1964 could be worth only $0.25 if the person either has no idea about 90% silver or just doesn’t care and they have what you need.