TEOTWAWKI survival tip….Save your nickles

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 11-02-2010


A while back I wrote a post on a book I was reading, Patriots: A novel of survival in the coming collapse. The book was awesome. You can read my post here. Recently, the author had a post on his site about saving nickles. Here is part of the post.

I’ve often mused about how fun it would be to have a time machine and travel back to the early 1960s, and go on a pre-inflation shopping spree. In that era, most used cars were less than $800, and a new-in-the box Colt .45 Automatic sold for $60. In particular, it would be great to go back and get a huge pile of rolls of then-circulating US silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars at face value. (With silver presently around $15.50 per ounce, the US 90% silver (1964 and earlier) coinage is selling wholesale at 11 times face value–that is $11,000 for a $1,000 face value bag.)

The disappearance of 90% silver coins from circulation in the US in the mid-1960s beautifully illustrated Gresham’s Law: “Bad Money Drives Out Good.” People quickly realized that the debased copper sandwich coins were bogus, so anyone with half a brain saved every pre-65 (90% silver) coin that they could find. (This resulted in a coin shortage from 1965 to 1967, while the mint frantically played catch up, producing millions of cupronickel “clad” coins. This production was so hurried that they even skipped putting mint marks on coins from 1965 to 1967.)

Alas, there are no time machines. But what if I were to tell you that there is a similar,albeit smaller-scale opportunity? Consider the lowly US five cent piece–the “nickel.”

Unlike US dimes and quarters, which stopped being made of 90% silver after 1964, the composition of a nickel has essentially been unchanged since the end of World War II. It is still a 5 gram coin that is an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. (An aside: Some 1942 to 1945 five cent coins were made with 35% silver, because nickel was badly-needed for wartime industrial use. Those “War Nickels” have long since been culled from circulation, by collectors.)

According to www.Coinflation.com, the 1946-2008 Nickel (with a 5 cent face value) had a base metal value of $0.0677413 in 2008. That was 135.48% of its face value. (In recent months, with the recession, and a decline in industrial demand for copper, the base metal value of a nickel dropped below face value. But even at today’s commodities prices, you will start out at “break even” by amassing a stockpile of nickels.) I predict that as inflation resumes–most likely beginning in 2011–the base metal value of nickels will rise substantially.

via Survivalblog.com.

Then he posted a letter from one of his readers that had some tips on how to get your hands on a large amount of nickels.

Lessons learned

- Offer to take the nickels that they are sending back to the Fed. They save money in shipping and get paper money to put right back in circulation.

- Find a bank with a coin counter in the lobby. Those coins may be rolled up already and they will give you the nickels to save them shipping costs.

- When trying to cut a deal, be honest. When I went back to the first bank I told them why I was wanting nickels. We have been loyal customers of the bank and they have done right by us and were willing to work with me.

I found an interesting web site where you can buy $10,000 worth of nickels at face value and copper pennies at spot prices.

Thanks for all you do. Regards, – Cascinus, Jefferson City, Missouri.

via Letter Re: Stockpiling Nickels was Easier than I Had Thought – SurvivalBlog.com.

While I won’t be rushing out to buy nickels myself, it’s good info to know.  Personally, I’d be investing in some food storage and ammo first. Once you have those covered, nickles sound like a good idea.  It also doesn’t sound like a bad idea to just keep your nickels as you get them. Even better, I can probably tell my kids this, and they’ll gather all the nickles up for me. They’ll probably even con grandma and grandpap out of nickels….. Ah come on. We’ll take care of them when TEOTWAWKI hits.

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