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Gold: A rock in life’s storms

What would you do if you lost access to all of your electronic asset and payment sources?


This is no longer a theoretical question. Just look at the widespread destruction across the Caribbean and Southeastern United States over the past two months. Many areas suffered power outages and also experienced cell phone towers out of commission. While services were restored quickly in some areas, there could be other locations where the wait could be weeks or months.

In some areas of the Caribbean, the official infrastructure suffered so much damage that it is possible one or more currency-issuing governments may collapse.

If it was you going through these disasters, where the currency and coins in your pocket might suddenly become worthless (although I think you should have some emergency cash stashed away), you have no access to your bank account or safe deposit box, and such merchants as are able to open for business have no ability to accept credit or debit card payments, what would you do?

At the most extreme, the everyday spending money in your wallet and purse might be worthless. You couldn’t write checks that the recipients could cash right away. You won’t be able to access any electronic payment forms or your cryptocurrency accounts.

Maybe the risk of such devastation might be enough to persuade you to acquire and keep some physical gold and silver in your direct custody as survival assets.

How much are the lives, health and well-being of you and your loved ones worth to you? Enough to take the precautions today to prepare yourself against what you hope will never happen but does occur every year to a small percentage of people?

Forum next week

The U.S. Mint has invited a handful of people to participate in its Second Numismatic Forum next week at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The theme of the event is “Numismatics – The Road Ahead.”

It is my privilege to again be attending this year’s Numismatic Forum. I have been asking dealers and collectors over the past two weeks, “If you had the opportunity to give feedback to the U.S. Mint, what would you tell them?” I’ve already received a number of great suggestions.

If you have anything that you would want me to pass along while attending, please send me an email at Remember, this is not an opportunity to simply vent about a problem; the Mint would also like to hear recommendations on how to resolve or prevent such problems in the future. Please be constructive. Thank you.

Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2017 Exemplary Service and 2012 Harry Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year Award winner. He was also honored by the Numismatic Literary Guild in 2017 and 2016 for the Best Dealer-Published Magazine/Newspaper and for Best Radio Report. He is the communications officer of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes “Liberty’s Outlook,” a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at Some of his radio commentaries titled “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and becomes part of the audio and text archives posted at

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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