How much silver should a prepper have (simple math)

When calculating how much silver should a prepper have,  there are some aspects that you should take into consideration how big your family is, for how long are you planning to use the silver as a bartering item and what could be the value of an ounce of silver in an SHTF situation. The price of silver could easily go up 10x in an SHTF situation this would make one oz of silver to be worth around 170$ but fuel and food prices will also go up. My recommendation is 0.3 oz of silver per family member multiplied by 365, this way each of your family members has 0.3 oz of silver per day for 1 year to feed themselves with and if the SHTF situation ends faster you will have some silver left for restarting your normal life.

You can get silver in various forms like coins, bars, and bullions. My recommendation is to start with silver coins Click here to check it out on

If you look around in our modern history to what happened in Greece, Argentina, and Venezuela that really got hit hard by a local economic collapse where people still managed somehow to survive where the value of the currency was almost 0. Silver gives you the ability to pick up supplies and things that you don’t have or you can’t get.

Stockpile on food and other supplies which you may be needing in an SHTF scenario but also keep in mind that if the SHTF crisis takes a long time to pass or settle you will be needing some type of item which holds its value even if the local currency is worthless. Have a plan to put some silver aside, if you are not able to do this maybe look at other types of items that you can use as bartering like food, ammo and so on.

Having some silver will give you a lot of options because nobody knows what could happen in the future. A lot of preppers have mixed ideas on stockpiling silver for SHTF and a lot of preppers will say that you can not eat silver, which is true as you can also not eat money but the point of having silver is to have some sort of ability to barter for other items which you may need. Silver has been the currency for mankind for a very long time and it will be used as a currency for a long time even after the current FIAT currency is long gone.

It is vital that you invest some money in silver as part of your SHTF plan, it is all about being prepared for the future. I am not an economist or a silver expert, I am a simple prepper but what I like about silver that it is a hard asset, it is a currency and it has a known value. Silver has a number of different pros and cons over gold as there is less silver in circulation in the world than gold. One of the great thing about silver is that is being used in different kind of industries mostly because it is a superconductor of electricity.

A lot of modern electronics are starting to turn silver due to its affordability and its superconductor capability.

One of the things that happened in Argentina back in the early 2000s in one of their economic collapses was when things were going bad with the economy a lot of small shops opened up that would barter with silver or ones that would buy silver. People would go to grocery stores and use it as an alternative currency instead of the local currency as the value of the silver was more stable than the local currency.

Silver allowed people in Argentina to use silver as an asset to protect their wealth and to have something with which they were able to buy everyday necessities. There are a lot of silver exchange shops in the US also which have opened up recently and even some local businesses that accept silver or gold as a currency like pawn shops.

In the case of an economic collapse the local currency will be worthless as the governments in times of crisis tend to print money thus diluting its value and on the long run, this will have a snowball effect of inflation making the currency worthless. If you don’t think that your local currency one day cannot be worthless in an economic situation upheaval you just have to look at our recent history.

If you are worried about economic collapse you should check out my article 75 Tips for economic collapse preparation.

There have been several economic collapses through our history like the one which happened in 1929 the only difference from an economic standpoint between now and then is that back then the money had a tangible value due to its gold standard. This means the value of the US dollar was directly linked to the value of the gold this made the dollar or any other currency that used the golden standard to have an inherent tangible value.

In 1971 president Nixon abandoned the gold standard and in the following years, most countries also abandoned their gold standard. This means that the inherent value of the current US dollar comes from how much money is in circulation and how much debt it is producing. I don’t know about you but I would feel a lot safer in a world where money has the gold standard instead of the current situation.


Investing in silver for preppers

There is an old saying money talk and bull crap walks, current currency is like an IOU note or a promise with 0 actual value other than our own perception of its value, for some people $100 is nothing while for others could mean food for a month. Having some cash in an SHTF event is also a good idea but if the economy collapses you will have some fancy toilet paper at best.

One of my favorite methods of investing in silver as a prepper is to buy junk silver which means that I buy coins that have a high amount of silver in it. A lot of people will buy collectible coins, these are graded and have a certain value due to its rarity but my recommendation is to stay away from these. The big problem with the collectible silver coins is that they are only valuable due to their rarity, in a turbulent economic situation where people will use silver commercially they are going to look at the value of the actual silver and nobody is going to care how valuable the coin is due to its rarity.

For example, the walking liberty coins are minted in the US and they are 100% silver whereas your standard coins are only 90% silver and 10% copper. Usually, coins made before 1964 are 100% silver all others produced after 1964 are diluted with other metals making them less valuable. The amount of silver these coins contain has been lowered a lot of coins produced in 1966 are around 40-50% silver and coins today have so little silver in them that they are considered junk.

I have bought most of my silver at $5 an ounce but this was years ago, today an ounce of silver is around $17 but this will keep going up as time goes by. Gold is around $1300 an ounce and when I was buying most of my silver an ounce of gold was around $300 an ounce. What this really means is not that the value of gold and silver went up but the value of the dollar has gone down.

As a prepper, you should always have a plan B, if you hoard up a lot of silver but for some reason, you can not rely on it in an SHTF situation you should also think of owning different types of items which you can trade such as ammo and food. Having a good amount of silver stockpiled is very important for any prepper and if we are lucky and there will be no major SHTF situation you can always sell your silver with a good profit as its value keeps going up over the years.


Reasons to invest in silver

There are numerous reasons why you should invest in silver as a prepper but most importantly you should invest in silver due to its inherent value and physical nature. There is no point in buying silver from the stock market if you are a prepper as in an SHTF scenario this silver will be like it never has even existed. There is a saying, if you can’t hold it you don’t own it and as a  prepper, you should always keep this in mind.

Infinite money

The irresistible force paradox asks “What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?”. Our debt-based monetary system must create more debt each and every year in excess of the debt and interest compared to the year before. The more debt money the bankers create the more profit they have, the more money debt the politicians spend the more power they have. This relationship of lender of last resort meets the spender of last resort ensures exponential growth of money. If you have read my article Signs of a declining civilization you already know that one of the major red flags that a civilization is collapsing is the devaluation of the currency.

The elite will keep using the power of the printing press to maintain their power but ultimately this will only accelerate their demise. There is a mathematical inevitable end to this system as infinite money debt meets the world’s finite resources and ultimately the limits of human faith. The more money in debt chasing after fewer goods and services will cause inflation and ultimately peoples faith in the currency will fail worldwide.

It will become evident that the elite intends to print the currency into oblivion ruining the main function of money as a store value. When this happens people will throw their depreciating currency at any tangible asset they can get their hands on. Precious metals will be the main beneficiary of this. The frightening thing is that not just American citizens that will be affected by this global destruction of paper currency because this will be the first time in human history in which the entire world has become interconnected and dependent upon this FIAT monetary illusion.

Stop thinking about another American Great Depression and start thinking about the dark ages. My suggestion is to beat the rush and panic now.

When this current monetary order dies so will millions if not billions of people as an era of unlimited money comes to an end. Think of the millions that are on food stamps that have no support system to carry them. Think about the billions of dollars in food subsidies ending, food riots, skyrocketing food and fuel prices globally. In this hyperinflationary collapse of the world economy, I predict that up to 90% of your money will go towards food and fuel.

Not your mortgage, not your car payments, taxes, tuitions medical bills or anything else but just the basic necessities like food and fuel. Most will not be able to make this transition and will probably die even before the wars, riots, and violence takes over. This dramatic shift in life will also prevent people from having children in this turbulence. There will be a scar in the human experience that will be felt for generations.


The shift from paper to tangible assets

Those that understand that there is a major shift out of paper assets into real assets inevitably start with a gut reaction of buying gold. The more I learned about silver the more I saw that it was the only investment for me as a prepper. When you truly understand the fundamentals behind silver you will see that it is simply the best investment out there. The main reason why I invest in physical silver is that it is a physical tangible asset.

When I say invest in silver I do not mean anything else but the real stuff in your hands, if you don’t hold it you don’t own it. Stay away from SLV, unallocated bullion accounts, mining shares and stick to the physical silver. I would hate for you to be right on silver and wrong in the form of silver. We are entering a generational shift out of paper assets into real tangible assets. As I have stated above the dollar is mathematically going to collapse and it is the very basis for our entire world economy.

The dollar collapse will be the single largest event in human history and it will dramatically touch every human on earth and will leave a scar on generations to come. When the mathematically inevitable collapse happens all paper assets will be destroyed such as:

  • Dollar
  • Munies
  • T Bills
  • Money markets
  • Insurance policies
  • Pensions
  • Privately owned businesses
  • Structured settlements
  • Social security
  • Dividends
  • 401 k’s
  • IRA’s
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Bonds
  • Real estate

Without a functioning currency and the uncertainty, it brings credit grinds to a halt and so does the payment, markets and eventually the world economy will also grind to a halt. People panic and this always leads to war. This naturally leads investors finding value in real tangible assets like commodities. Commodities are real things that we use in our day to day life like pork, corn, cotton, oil, and steel.

The problems with most commodities is storage, for a matter of fact, the two best asset classes to be in terms of real inflation-adjusted returns will be food and fuel. These are most essential to humanity and they are hardest to live without. I strongly recommend people stocking up on food, water, and fuel before they buy silver. You will need at least a  months supply of food and water per persona s a buffer for the massive global social upheaval we are going to go through with the collapse of the dollar.

The problem with investing in most food and fuel is storage issues. Most food will deteriorate and become worthless, also storage could be prohibitive because we are talking about some big dollars. I don’t know about you but I don’t have a grain silo or a fuel storage tank and unless you are a farmer or an oil baron this usually rules out many commodities for the average prepper.

For most metals storage is a big issue, $8k will buy you a ton of copper but just a couple of ounces of gold and this is why precious metals are sought after. Their rarity and their ability to store so much wealth into a small space. Although silver will be a very valuable asset after a major SHTF, there will be other high demand items especially long-lasting canned foods, if you want an in-depth analysis of which canned foods are best for preppers, check out my article Longest lasting canned foods.

Industrial demand

First and foremost silver is being used as an industrial metal, next to oil silver is the second most widely used commodity ever as it has over 10 000 uses. As technology progresses and expands silver’s usefulness will expand even further, its unique characteristics are unlike any other commodity in the world.

  • It is the most reflective of all the metals
  • Grate conductor of heat
  • Grate conductor of electricity
  • Strongly resist corrosion and oxidation
  • Second most malleable and tactile next to gold
  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial properties

Silver is generally used in small quantities and its unique characteristics make it irreplaceable.


Investment demand

This demand has almost been dead for the past generation of investors. This demand has a paper trader component to it that simply wants a horse to bet on, these investors are primarily Anglo American institutional investors and tend to want the silver price to be lower. What they really want is to get big swings in the market, these trade anywhere from 40 to 1000 paper ounces of silver for every real physical ounce in the market.

They usually take about 3% of the physical silver off the market when it is traded. This institutional demand is still in its early stages and seems content in the paper chase of the trade market. This is said to grow not only in acceptance but in a worldwide audience and finally in physical metal. Institutions seem to follow the leader and when it becomes apparent that silver is up 20% a year while the stock market is flat it won’t take long for the sharks to smell blood in the water and they will want more exposure to silver and other commodities.

At first they will play the paper market but eventually, they will want the real thing. Foreign institutional investment demand is quite different than our institutional demand, they don’t seem to be interested in playing the paper chase and they want real physical silver. They seem intent on dumping dollars for real assets. The opening of the Hong Kong mercantile exchange is a good example of this, during the last bull run of silver in the 80s only Western nations participated in the market.

Since then there are 10-20tiems more capital in the world and 50% more people living today, now all the world can participate in this silver bull run. China, India, and Russia are leading the charge to buy more and more precious metals. There are a lot of potentially useless dollars floating around the world and they ant real tangible assets in return. This type of foreign institutional investment demands higher prices and has the potential for backing the final demand which will catapult silver into the stratosphere.

Private investors

These investors typically want physical and only dabble in the paper trade market, they usually buy and hold and they differentiate themselves from the other demands that specifically want a higher price for their investment. They planning on dumping their paper assets and getting real physical assets outside of the paper chase. These investors are like ants, constantly taking food off the table and storing it for a rainy day.

This demand is joining the industrial demand and taking real physical metal off the market but unlike the industrial users, the investment demand of private investors strictly wants higher prices.

Monetary demand

Silver has absolutely no monetary demand in the world, it is used in things and invested for protection against inflation and there are very few places where you can just buy things with it. I believe that with the mathematically inevitable collapse of the world currencies this new monetary demand will push silver through the sky. Some countries or local communities will monetize silver and as history has shown money goes to where it is most appreciated.

All of humanity will be crying out for real money as they try to recover from the FIAT something for nothing dream. How will quadrillions of fiat paper money flow into less then a billion ounces of silver, it is impossible.

“Paper is poverty. It is the ghost of money and not money itself.” Thomas Jefferson

I have seen bright and intelligent people fail to understand that the electronic digits on their computer screens are not real money. They always do get when they hold an ounce of gold or silver, it is a frightening aspect of our society that we have become so detached from real money that most of us can not even comprehend real money. Do yourself a favor this weekend and go to your local coin shop and just touch an ounce of gold or a big fat shiny bar of silver, then look at that paper in your wallet or worse the digits in your bank account and tell me honestly where would you rather invest for your future.

The monetary demand is insatiable as no one can ever have too much money.

Inelastic price

All commodities have a self-correcting price mechanism except for silver if a commodities price rise too high demand drops off as people seek substitutes or supply rises to meet the demand thus lowering the price. This mechanism does not exist for silver. Silver is typically used in very small quantities and high tech components and there is no substitute for it, this means that the manufacturer or customer will have to absorb any price increase.

Silver is starting to be used in clothing to reduce odors caused by bacteria, what is remarkable about it is that by weight silver only represents 1/40000’th of the total of inputs of a shirt. When used in such small quantities silvers price is almost irrelevant, over 20 million tons of polyester sportswear are produced every year and the textile industry consumes 1200 tons of silver annually.

Let us say for example the average computer contains 1/10 th of an ounce of silver, that would mean that there is about $33333 of silver in the computer. Now let us assume that the computer in question costs $1500 if silver were to go to $1000 at an ounce the same silver in that computer would be of $100. Do you think that Apple is going to throw its arms up in the air and cry that they can no longer sell their computers just because silver is too expensive, they will simply raise the price of the computer and transfer the cost of the silver to the buyer.

It is not that just consumer products are at risk, it is the companies, industries, and nations are also at risk. Apple has a market cap of over $800 billion and if a strategic commodity like silver starts having shortages their billion-dollar empire is in danger. Companies will go into panic buying securing any amount of physical silver they can because their entire value-added business is dependent upon it.

They will not be buying SLV’s or certificates of deposits, only the real physical silver will suffice. Now you can see that rising prices will actually increase demand and not that just the computer industry is relying upon silver but also the multi-billion dollar industries like energy, medical and the military.

Best ways to buy silver for preppers

If you already know how important it is to have silver as a prepper you are probably thinking ow what are the best ways to buy physical silver. It is extremely important to buy physical silver instead of investing in silver stocks which you actually never see. In case of an economic collapse, your investment in silver stocks will have 0 value but physical silver will have always a vale no matter if you use it today or in 100 years.

Bullion Coins

These coins are probably the quickest and fastest way for a prepper to start buying physical silver. They are easy to store and easy to get your hands on, easy to carry around and very easy to sell or trade with.

Below is a list of the best silver bullion coins which you should get.

  • American Silver Eagle
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonics
  • American Silver Buffalo
  • Sunshine Mint Silver Round


Silver Bars and Ingots

This is the most concentrated form of investing in physical silver and when you are ready to switch from coins and you want to get a bigger bang for your buck you are going to want to buy silver bars and ingots. These silver ingots come in several sizes from 1 oz, 10 oz, 1 Kg, 100 oz’s and 400 oz’s which for the average prepper is probably a way to big of an investment. But if you have the means to buy a 400 oz bar silver then god bless you.

  • 100 oz Johnson Matthey Bar
  • 10 oz Scottsdale “Stacker”

My personal favorite is the 10 oz Scottsdale bar mainly because of its size, as a prepper, you may want to consider to buy more types of silver than just a big 100 or 400 oz bar. The reason behind this is in an SHTF situation how are you going to trade with one single 400 oz bar, especially if you want to buy something inexpensive. Do you think people will have 399 oz silver to give you back after your purchase or you are going to try and chop off the bar into smaller chunks?


Junk Silver

The term junk is a little bit misleading because these old quarters, dimes and nickels issued before 1964 are actually quite valuable due to their 90% silver content. There are different sizes that you can buy or face values:

  • $100 face value
  • $500 face value
  • $1000 face value

Keep in mind that the $1000 face value must be reported to the IRS, the other 2 smaller face valued ones do not have to be reported to the IRS.



This is an interesting way of buying silver and not a lot of Americans buy this way but it has major benefits compared to the other forms of silver. In some parts of the world jewelry is a form of saving which has been used for centuries. It is extremely easy to transport meaning you can fly out of a country draped in $50k worth of silver jewelry and you don’t have to declare it, this alone is why I keep some part of my silver in jewelry.

Benefits in buying silver jewelry

  • It is exempt from IRS sales reporting
  • Easy to transport
  • No historical precedent in confiscation

Numismatic Coins

Do not ever buy numismatic coins, there are a lot of shady companies in this industry where they try to get new investors to pay huge amounts of money for so-called rare numismatic coins that are not even remotely worth as much as their asking price. These also are quite hard to sell and even if you manage to sell them you won’t make a profit so buyer beware!

How to store silver

As a prepper, you have to consider different options and strategies while storing silver. Not only to keep it safe from looters but also for ease of access in a time of need. Also, keep in mind that in a major SHTF crisis you could be forced to bug out and in this case, you should be able to grab your silver stash as fast as possible. If you have a larger amount of silver my recommendation is to hide it in a safe place and only take one part of it in your bug out bag this way you will have room for the other survival items like food, water and so on.

Store at home

You should store your silver at home because that is where you have the most control over your valuables. Some store it in safety deposit boxes but I would not recommend this as in an SHTF situation it will be hard to access if at all possible.


Survey your land in the proximity of your house where you can hide valuables and it is of sight from your neighbors. Just be careful if the local criminals use metal detectors as they could easily find your stash. If you are determined to hide your silver on burying it on your land you could burry railway spikes on your property. This way if a criminal comes with a metal detector they will simply give up after they have found 30 railway spikes, make sure to bury these a little deeper than your stash so they have to work for it harder.

Know who to trust

Nobody should know about your silver stash, not even your wife. If you are burring silver coins in your back yard your wife will think you are probably nuts and there is a high probability that she will mention it to at least one friend and soon enough you could find random people in your back yard. In the case of a personal SHTF like a divorce, you can just take the silver for your own use provided you bought it with your own money and she does not know about them.

Don’t advertise

Simply put keep your mouth shut, I have recently made a post about OPSEC and why all preppers should use it. Do not even mention to people that you are a prepper or you are buying valuable metals as in an SHTF situation they will come and knock on your door.


Do not put all your eggs in one basket, this is also true for silver. You should have several smaller stashes of silver hidden around and in your house just make sure that you can easily access them if there comes a time when you need them.


Make sure that your house is as safe as possible, installing an alarm and if you have the possibility to get a good guard dog should be a good measure against any criminal.


You may be in a situation that you are not 100% confident in the security of your home and property. In cases like this, you may want to create a decoy or honey pot that you don’t mind if an invader steals. This might be “hidden” in your closet, sock drawer someplace that it is accessible but not too obvious as carer criminals will probably know that it is just a decoy.

Climate control

Silver is very conductive of heat and electricity and if your silver is not 99.99% silver and has other metals in it than it will corrode. Also if your silver is not pure try to keep them in a dry environment as it could oxidize due to the other metals in it.


Make sure to make an inventory of all your silver at least twice a year especially if you have small children as they could have found it by accident. Make sure to write down the serial number of each coin and bullion if they have one, this way in the case you have been robbed and the police find your silver you can recuperate them easier.

Disaster recovery

You should have serial numbers and receipts with which you can go to the authorities within case you have been robbed. This is important because this way your silver can be tracked and everyone knows if you have a silver bar and it is out of the package without the serial number the value of that bar goes down. Burglars are going to want to keep it as pristine as possible to get the highest value as possible for your stolen silver.

In Conclusion

You should have enough silver stored away in the event of a major disaster that you can use as a bartering item. Who knows how long will the SHTF scenario last and if you don’t have silver or any other precious metals you might be forced by circumstances to trade other essential items like ammunition or even food. In addition to having silver keep in mind to have them in a smaller form like coins which you can quickly trade, if you have a 100 oz silver bar it will be extremely difficult to barter with especially if there is no rule of law.

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