Gold and Silver in the Apocalypse

Posted by on Jan 15 2010, in apocalypse, apocalypticpost, gold, silver

If you haven’t read this post already, today’s fiat money will be worthless during the apocalypse (most say that its worthless now anyway. The blogger slams gold and silver as being worthless; here are Survive the Apocalypse‘s top forms of currency:

  • Ammunition
  • Gasoline
  • Cigarettes
  • Spices
  • Antibiotics
  • Seeds
  • Knowledge

So will gold and silver worthless during the Apocalypse? If you read the story Alas, Babylon, you would recall a scavenger whose collected gold and silver in hopes that when society and governments are fully restored. Unfortunately he became deathly sick from the high rate of radiation that was absorbed from these precious metals.
Saving precious metals in hopes of it getting restored as form of official currency is probably not the best idea. However, are these metals totally worthless? Lets look at some practical uses of Gold and Silver.
  • Both gold and silver are extremely malleable. So while they might not be useful for chopping wood, they can be used for more intricate machinery. Gold is the most malleable of the metal. Because of Silver and gold can both be used for dentistry, although I don’t this this profession will gain any more love from its patients after the apocalypse
  • Both Gold and Silver are extremely conductive, silver being the most conductive metal known. If you can get sort of post apocalyptic battery going, silver is a good choice. Gold because its very difficult to corrode is also good choice.
  • Silver is well known for its medicinal uses and antibacterial properties. Just be careful about drinking silver, or you’ll look like a smurf.
  • If you have an aircraft or special generator, you can use silver iodide to seed clouds for rain. Just make sure its not radioactive rain!
  • Silver fulinate is powerful explosive.
  • If photography is ever needed in the apocalypse, forget your digital stuff, film photography, which is based on silver compounds, will be the way to go. *
So in the Apocalypse, I might prioritise food, but I wouldn’t neglect gold or silver if I would come across it scavenger or getting a cheap deal during bartering.


  • The consideration for precious metals come down to a few things.

    1. How bad is it? If some kind of government will return/survive then perhaps there's a use.

    2. Are you staying put or on the move? If I'm sitting tight until things change, then a few hundred pounds of various metals would probably come in handy. If I'm on the move then probably not so much. I might tote some jewelry, just in case it carries a value.

    3. Can I use it now if I need to? A bit of gold would be nice to have today. I don't have any, though. What do I have? Gasoline. Food. A skill (construction). Let's face it, precious metals are great in particular situations, but not in most true post-apocalyptic scenarios.

  • Anonymous

    All very good points indeed! Thanks for your thoughts

  • G&S silver have no direct value to survival. Their value comes as surplus needs to be traded through a third party. All the items listed, except knowledge, are adversely effected by humidity and age and so are not good long term stores of value. I would refer readers to my post here: to consider a long term value to G&S.
    Long Plan