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Survival Silver: consider silver coins as a long-term survival strategy

Silver is a topic that is near and dear to me. For some inexplicable reason, I really like the stuff. Even at a relatively young age I bought silver coins for myself not knowing at the time that I was making a long-term investment in my family’s survival preparations. In my mind, I was just “collecting” shiny new silver “eagles” that I enjoyed owning; now those very same coins are the centerpiece to my long-term survival stash. If you have considered buying silver specifically for disaster preparation then this article may help you in sorting through all of the various forms of silver that are out there

As a precious metal, silver has always been sought after and coveted. For a potential buyer there are three reasons to purchase silver; as an investment, as a hedge against inflation, and for survival preparation. I will address all three, but focus on the third.

10 year spot price silver

10 years of silver compared to USD.

Silver as an investment

Investing in silver is an endeavor that requires some very specialized knowledge and skill. If you are considering using silver as an investment it may be helpful to get professional advice from a reputable financial adviser.

Silver as an inflation hedge

During times of high inflation the value of the paper dollar is diminished. This means that it will take more dollars to purchase the goods and services that you need. Silver and other precious metals have historically had and inverse relationship to the dollar. As the dollar weakens the value of silver goes up thus increasing the buying power of silver.

Silver as a long-term survival tool

Due to silver’s desirability and precious metal status there will likely always be a demand for silver items. Coins and bullion that are made of silver are easily identifiable, transportable and measurable. These factors will make this type of item a pillar of any barter system.survival silver

When purchasing silver to use as a survival tool there are some things to look for and things to avoid. Probably the biggest thing to look for in silver coins or bullion that have the amount (by weight) and the percentage of silver content stamped on the face. This will eliminate the need for you to try to convince someone of how much your silver is worth. My personal favorite is the “walking Liberty” U.S coin, otherwise known as the “Silver Eagle”. They are made by the US mint so there quality and consistency will be recognized anywhere. I also have a good stash of pre-1965 U.S coins. These coins were made with 90% silver and offer a good way to have some silver stashed away. Once again the silver content and purity of these coins is a known quantity. Below you will find a handy table that contains silver content of pre-1965 coins and how to calculate the actual silver value.

I avoid any and all “collector’s coins.” These coins are sold at many times their actual silver value and there is no way to recover this in a disaster. When the stuff hits the fan, no one is going to care what mint marks your coin has or how rare it may be. The only thing that is going to matter is the silver content, which is pretty hard to prove on some obscure ancient coin. Additionally I avoid large bullion, I prefer bullion that are 10 oz. or smaller. Large bullion will still have value, but I feel they will have some severe disadvantages to the smaller sized bullion. Primarily they are too heavy to carry around easily. Also they are not very practical. In a survival scenario, I will not need 100 ounces of silver to barter or trade with. I don’t intend to buy half a town; I just want some basic supplies. Fractional ounces or ounce coins will be more than sufficient for this. Lastly, large bullion would likely represent a large portion of my survival funds and I don’t want my wealth tied up in one item.

Look for

  • Easily recognizable coins/bullion
  • Percentage of silver stamped on item (or known quantity i.e pre 1965 US coins)
  • Weight of silver stamped on item (or known quantity)


  • Collector coins
  • Unique or unusual coins/bullion
  • Large Bullion

Use the below table to calculate silver “true” value of pre 1965 US coins. To calculate simply multiple the content times the current spot price of silver.

 Pre 1965 coins Silver content in ounces


Spot Price




Half Dollars


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