Friday, March 13, 2009

Scrap/junk gold as post SHTF "change"

For most of your savings you want mint gold and silver coins.

Coins, ok? Do NOT buy piles of junk/scrap gold.

But a small bag with a few ounces is a good idea in my opinion.

It doesn’t attract much attention, you can pull a wedding band and sell it and still look like just another poor desperate guy, even if you have a small bag with a couple dozen more used ones bought at a pawn shop.

Going around offering mint gold and silver coins is a good way to get robbed, shot or kidnapped.

You can go to the jewelry store, bring out your great grandmother’s favorite bracelet on the counter (BS, you bought it as scrap on ebay) and cut just a few links of chain with your Leatherman tool.

Just the amount of weight you need to buy some groceries next door, just a few links. (chains make this so much easier)

This happens in Argentina, people sell their jewelry for their gold out of desperation, and I verified that this works this way in Libertad street here in Buenos Aires. Everyone offers somewhat similar prices.

Warning: Make sure the gold is properly stamped and ins’t plated junk.

The jewelry gold, (junk/scrap gold) will come in handy as a PM version of pocket change, like the silver content in pre -65 coins, but know that you'll be loosing a bit of money compared to mint PM, at least most of the time.

I'd check pawn shops or online for people selling it as junk/scrap (meaning selling it for its gold content or a bit over or below that)

Used wedding bands and chains, people rarely want a used failed marriage ring.

Stick with these simple stuff, you don’t want to pay for the jewelry's artistic value.

Hopefully the wedding ring will fit you and you can pull it out of your finger when selling or bartering for extra drama.

Stick to 18k gold. Less than that and gold dealers will become more suspicious. It should be stamped somewhere as "18K" , and it shines nicely and doesn't darken. “14k” seems to be also acceptable in some places. Just make sure it’s stamped and not plated junk.

You want to preferably buy things like this:

ebay link

That's 29 grams of 14k scrap/junk Jewelry (supposedly one 18k ring)

It's all going for 400 bucks

Using this PM calculator you see you have 498 bucks worth of gold in there.

That's preferably the kind of deal you want.

Yo might want to invest 17 bucks in an acid test kit, play around a bit unitl you learn to tell the difference of gold purity.

Take care



Anonymous said...


What happens with insurance polocies after
SHTF? Do they generally still honor valid claims
or have they begun denying almost all of them?
I'd imagine premiums have gone up but quite a

In particular I am wondering about auto and
personal property insurance. With so many
cars being stolen and houses being robbed are
the insurance providers you have still reliable?



FerFAL said...

They are kind of expesnive for most of us ( specially auto ones) but yes, they do stick to the contract. Unfortunately most tiems you wont be able to afford teh same car you got stolen, insurance is very slow and will usually pay a bit less than what your car was actually worth.
Theres home insurnace but again, its not excatly cheap nad you just recover part of waht you got stolen with what the comapny pays you.
A good contract that pays for real everything you got stolen is usually too expensive for the average guy.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I live on Texas gulf coast. After Ike there was a spate of news about insurance companies that were bust and didn't pay claims. There is supposed to be some kind of government pool that pays. In my experience you are more likely to have insurance companies that denigh claims for specious reasons. Of course this is pre-bust. It's a good question, though and one I have been wondering about.
The whole scrap gold thing. 18k jewelry is HARD to find here. Usually 18k is "vintage" or "antique" so you pay a premium for that. For some reason bracelets seem to be the best bang for the buck here. Nice because as Ferfal points out they are easily divisable into smaller quantities. Old high karat gold rings seem to go for a premium as well. You have to watch your ass on eBay. I would look for sellers who regularly sell gold jewelry, have LOTS of nothing but positive feedback, and are located in the US. I have bought some butt ugly jewelry for less than the spot price of the gold content. I have found reputable local (not in the town where I actually live) sources for some stuff that sells at a reasonable amount above spot. (Pay cash and keep your mouth shut. As for as anyone knows I like to collect "vintage jewelry".) Pawn shops are usually WAY over priced. I looked at a lovely 22k chain. I checked the weight and whipped out my trusty calculator. It was 3x the spot for the gold content. There is a whole lot more sterling silver jewelry and other stuff floating around out there that you actually have some hope ot picking up for the silver content value if you are very careful not to overpay. Again, antique or collectable value push the price up. I never ever buy silver that isn't marked sterling or 925. There is just too much plated crap out there and alpaca and german silver are not silver no matter what a seller tells you. A lot of things like candlesticks are weighted with cement or sand so be aware. Again hocking "granny's" silver candlesticks, sugar bowl, or platter is a lot less conspicuous than selling gold coins or shiny minted ounces of sterling silver.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of info. that is needed. Spot? Weight? Karat? What are dealers looking for? What do they charge you for that you don't need in scrap gold or used jewelry? I would think that if you paid $400. USD for a chain, and the economy crapped out, that you would be actually ahead. For example, your bracelet that you sold, if your sister paid $200. USD before 2001 for it, and after the 1:1 you cashed it in, you should, theoretically, get 3 times as much. Am I correct in this assumption? Again, not looking at this as a money making venture, but it is helpful to know.

Ryan said...

Great post. I need to learn more about testing gold to make sure it is what they say it is.

Norcal said...

To Texas gulf coast (8:29)
You can get 18k at Asian (Vietnamese, Chinese etc ) jewelry stores and it is gorgeous. These cultures view 14k as junk. So somewhere there might be near you a Vietnamese shopping center or you may have a Vietnamese store? They also sell 22k and 24 K.
The Indian jewelry stores (people from India, not Native Americans) sell only 22k or 24 k.

In addition, if you go to a gold coin seller, many of them take in "scrap gold" which means 14k,
18k etc. They weigh it on a scale in front of you, then calculate the price of gold in it, etc

It may not be a "great deal" at the time but as the dollar becomes more worthless and inflation rockets, you may be happy you bought some of this jewelry. I have a friend from Cambodia and she said that gold chains literally kept her from starving. She cut off a piece to get groceries, as paper was worthless.

She also said she used Swiss gold bars to give border guards, to bribe them to get across the border.

Now she owns here a donut shop and has done fantastic. Very nice lady.

She said in her culture you put everything possible into gold.

hope that helps.

CapnRick said...

Her's an example of what I have been buying... a 14k gold chain at "less than spot" gold prices. I have some 18k; but, It's hard to come by at a good price.


Yep... I'm gunn44, the lucky buyer on this item. Fortunately, I have the time available to check hundreds of items against the spot gold price. I am amazed at the prices people are paying for ingots, nuggets and "Replica" bullcrap coins. Some have little or no gold content and all are overpriced. Ingots are going for 3X spot price sometimes. Whew! Here's a good example of a bad idea (see FerFal's post on attracting attention with unusual items for sale):


Taking one of these in to sell gets you instantly recognized as a gold hoarder... not good. The occasional ring or necklace is just standard operating procedure for these gold buyers.

FerFAL knows because he has seen first hand what most people can't even bring themselves to think about. I feel confident that the 30,000+ people who hit this blog every couple of months are at least thinking about the unthinkable... and, that's healthy.

By the way... one of you FerFAL fans that knows internet marketing tricks need to share some good marketing tips for free with FerFAL so he can continue to provide this public service.

Happy hoarding, ya'll! -Rick

Alex said...

Use a simple scrap gold calculator