For thousands of years, people have used precious metals to barter and trade. This has evolved over the ages to the point where many countries now use the gold standard as a basis for their currency supply. In effect, with the gold standard, paper currency is nothing more than a promissory note to pay the bearer the value of the note, in gold, on demand.
However, in practice that is a little impractical. With the value of gold being more than a thousand dollars an ounce now, it would be somewhat tricky to exchange just a dollar’s worth for example. This is one of the reasons why many people like to invest in silver as an alternative to gold.
Imagine for example that the western world suffered a complete and total economic collapse and paper currency became worthless. This does actually happen from time to time (Germany in the 1920’s and Zimbabwe in the last couple of years are just two examples), so is not outside the realms of possibility.
With the economy reduced to the situation where people are silver bowl having to barter and trade goods and services, silver is a much more liquid currency than gold because it is of a much lesser value. So one might use an old Roosevelt dime to pay for groceries or to fill the car with gas, for example.
Of course, no-one is suggesting that the US economy is about to collapse to such a point. But you never know!
So how and where do you get hold of silver as an investment? Well, you can buy silver coins, also known as “junk silver”. These are coins that contain up to 90% silver content, generally produced before 1965. The “Walking Liberty” quarter is one example. You can buy bags of these from various dealers, who can also supply bags of silver dollars. Just Google “silver coin dealers” and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a supplier.
Silver bars are also available and may be worth investing in. They come in various sizes, down to a half or even a quarter of an ounce.
It is certainly worth considering investing in silver as an alternative to gold or other more precious metals, if only to hedge your bets against something completely unexpected happening with the economy.