Are Coins Better Than Bars?


Dear Bob,

You refer to gold and silver coins in your letter (The Bob Livingston Letter, subscription required). What about those of us that have invested in 100 oz. silver bars? How do I fare when the boom is lowered?

Martin C.

Dear Martin,

You will be fine as far as retaining your wealth is concerned. You bought your silver because it represents a store of value. When the currency crashes to worthlessness, your silver will still have value as “money,” as it has for thousands of years. I recommend “junk” silver coins because they look and feel like the coins we use today, so people will be comfortable trading with them. But they will retain their value when today’s currency is worthless because of the silver they contain. Their advantage over bars is that coins are more easily tradable for food and clothing. You will trade a silver dime for a loaf of bread, or a silver quarter for a garment. How will you break up your bars for trading for small items?

Best wishes,


Personal Liberty

Bob Livingston

founder of Personal Liberty Digest™, is an ultra-conservative American author and editor of The Bob Livingston Letter™, in circulation since 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • Dadwasright

    I had been considering that same question myself, I agree, we are all familiar with coins, be they silver, copper, or even gold. Few of us are familiar with bars, bricks, bullion,or whatever you may call it . (Think pieces of eight would be useful ?) Where do you obtain the latest exchange rate ? How do you deal with things worth far less than 100 OZ silver, gold ? If you have A LOT of money a % of 100 OZ bars is probably o.k. M Y O L D & D E A R F R I E N D !! ?? Ha Ha.

  • Chester

    One thing to think about. What is all that metal going to be worth when there IS no currency to depend on. Can you eat it? Can you cook with it? When people are hungry, they aren’t going to be asking for pieces of metal to feed themselves with, they are going to be looking for something to fill the belly. If a farmer has a good stock of grain, why should he trade grain for metal that is too soft to be of any use to him on his farm? Labor is going to be worth more than any metal or paper, and most farmers can always find a place to use an extra hand for a few days.

    • Walt

      Let’s learn from history Chester. During the Weimar Republic currency collapse of the early 1920’s, “city folks” would go out and forage into the countryside to barter their gold, silver and jewelry for food with farmers who had surplus commodities of grain, produce, dairy, eggs and meat.
      Many of these “smart” farmers did quite well during these harsh times. When the economic times improved somewhat (after 1923-1924), they used their small accumulated wealth in silver, gold and jewelry to purchase other commodities they needed.

  • Terri Moore-Mikula

    Important better coins than bars. Because bars dangerous take mark right hand nbr 666 of beast, warning by God. Avoid bars by Obama lair!

  • Pepered for anything

    Coins are the way to go in the short term, if whatever happens lasts for more than a year or so…….Ammo, grains, canned goods, labor (skilled) it will be the barter system for sure. But like I said for the short term you have to have different denominations of preferably silver coins as gold will be worth too much….use your gold to pay off your house, car, etc.

  • Guest

    I would consider trading silver bars for junk coins with “reputable” on-line dealers – APMEX, Provident Metals and the like. They have phone numbers – call and ask.

  • John – Atlanta

    You should consider holding a wide variety of metal that has actual use in everyday use when there is no infrastructure left. Copper and lead can be traded because they can be used for house repairs, equipment repairs, making bullets, etc.

    If you have a 100oz silver bar, but, not enough plywood to re-panel your roof and cover all your windows, not enough tarps to cover your roof, if you do not have 20-30 pounds of various deck screws (1 5/8, 2, 3″) and some pressure treated 2x4s, you might be making the wrong investments. Invest in steel … 1/4″ and #10 flat washers.

    Precious metals rarely turn a profit, they are stores for protection against fiat currency. If you bought and stored ammo and cheap .22lr guns, you not only stored your value, you sold a lot of it right now while prices are high. Those ended up being a better investment then silver and gold, for me at least.

    If you can afford it and store it, I would consider 100 pounds of copper in 1# bars, Lead bars (or rolls of roofing lead – usually 50#), zinc (maybe 50#), etc.

    I hate that I can’t get copper bars anywhere near spot, but, I look at it as a SHTF investment. No, pre-1982 pennies are no good with the slag metal in it, same with the pre-1963 junk silver. If someone wants a silver replacement tooth, I don’t think junk silver melted down will do.

    After I rounded out my other metals, I would invest in small gold ridged coins at the classic 16:1 ratio to the silver, gold is a much more useful material then silver, especially for dental and medical work.

  • Dave

    “A loaf of bread for a days wages….”….silver and gold go on the presumption that there will be any food to even buy……..