Monetary Insurance: Protect With Physical Silver Against The Financial Winter

As part of our research to unveil the best tactics and strategies to protect against the upcoming tsunami in monetary and financial markets, we have reached out to Charles Savoie, author and researcher, with a tremendous knowledge of precious metals history. Our question was how individuals and small investors can best protect during the hard times that are coming, which will most likely be characterized as turmoil and collapses (of all sorts of assets, including currencies, around the world).

Charles Savoie wrote a very useful document for our readers. It is entitled “The Best Monetary Insurance”, counts 38 pages, and is a mix of practical tips embedded in an historical context. The key message of Mr. Savoie is to hold enough silver in physical form, ideally a mix of formats, but for sure silver dimes. 

In this article, we highlight the most actionable tips and tactics. The full document is embedded at the bottom, it can also be downloaded.

Visit Mr. Savoie his two websites: and He offers all this information as a free service to the public.

Silver has historically played an important role. It has been money, but, more than anything else, a metal of the elites. Consider this:

U.S. Congress knew silver to be more valuable in regard to gold than the present bullion banking fiends.  And Congress knew it nine generations ago!  For details, see Senate document number 67 of the first session of the 73rd Congress, “Elementary Facts Bearing On The Silver Question” by Joel F. Vaile” (50 page document, 1896).  Today the reality ratio of silver to gold may have fallen to 9, due to depletion of minable silver (The U.S. Geological Survey concurs) and even more so, the evanescence of above surface inventories.  Ratios of silver to gold such as the approximate 64 to 1 of late March 2014 are illusory.  But the real impact is that silver is a better buy than gold.

The best monetary insurance you can have is 90% silver dimes 1964 and earlier.  Many gold bugs readily admit silver to be more depressed than gold. Ted Butler stated long ago that not even gold has a users association.  The fact of the existence of this group is another of many proofs that synthetic money creators hate and fear silver even more than their loathing for gold.  The Silver Users Association started out as the Silver Users Emergency Committee in World War II and in 1947 was renamed the Silver Users Association.  Directors of SUA companies, especially the biggest silver users, are also since that time, directors of megabanks.  90% U.S. coins, historic money, facilitated many billions of transactions during their long history spanning many generations.  Inasmuch as silver is so depressed relative to gold, personally, I advocate owning little or no gold; unless the investor cannot acquire silver.  This is not disdain for gold, but more so, advocacy for acquiring the interest with higher potential.  Silver can be swapped for gold at a later time if the ratio tilts to overvalue silver versus gold.  Why buy 1 ounce of gold today versus 60+ silver ounces, when you may be able later on to swap those 60 + silver ounces for over 5 gold ounces?

A silver dime at the mints started out with a content of .0723 oz silver (4 digits is enough!)  Due to average circulated wear, the business typically uses the figure of .0715 ounce contained silver.  You will be able to tell the difference from a dime with no wear and a dime with light wear and more so, a heavily worn dime.  I feel that very worn dimes are better melted, except for collectors seeking an inexpensive “cull” or “filler” coin for a key date and mint mark.  When you buy dimes, you’re unlikely to get any with 89.24% silver, which were minted from 1796 to 1837.  The clear advantage of Mercury dimes over Roosevelt is guaranteed identification of purity with no check of the date nor glance at the rim to look for telltale copper insides.  Silver coins have a surprisingly large variation in surface tone, and you can’t always rely on telling the surface tone of a cupronickel (sandwich dime, 1965 and later) from a silver dime.  Of course, proof silver dimes (1992-2009) can be found in dates beyond the fabled 1964 date.  These are good buys generally only if you chance to come by some in a batch of mixed date dimes, in which case, they won’t be proof anymore, but will very likely stand way out due to newness and absence of wear.

I am not saying buy silver dimes, and no other silver.  I have all types except the 1,000 ounce ingots, which you can anticipate having to have assayed if you have these and decide to sell.  Unless you’re a larger investor and have intentions of using metal to buy land, stick with smaller units.  Having smaller units wouldn’t preclude their use in buying land; smaller units are more “maneuverable” as to utility in purchases.

If dimes aren’t available, try for quarters.  It mostly comes down to two considerations.  One, the 90% coins haven’t been minted now for an entire half century—they get scarcer by the day, as some of these are always being smelted into bullion with silver scrap at refineries, and being melted in jewelers crucibles with some three-niner, in a proportion to yield .925 Sterling jewelry and Two, the silver dime is the most divisible, or the most fractionated, form of silver.  You can go buy a 100 ounce silver bar.  However, you can instead go for the same amount of silver, approximately, in 90% dimes.  This equates to almost exactly 1,400 dimes (28 rolls of 50 coins) at the .0715 figure.  In most cases, dealers have allowed me to cherry pick the dimes I wanted and the methodology I used was as follows.

Tip: Avoid damaged coins

Never buy coins with damage such as hole drilled, bent, clipped, etched (vandalized) or shaved rims.  There’s the inevitable coin with red nail polish, best avoided.  While date and mint mark checking is usually only practical in over the counter situations, and is unlikely to turn up anything of outstanding scarcity, it could help you in terms of being able to assemble some starter sets for sale to numismatic collectors.  So while you aren’t paying numismatic prices, you will be getting some numismatic values, as long as people want to collect coin series as a hobby or business.  It pays to print out a list of these mint issues and be familiar with them

Tip: Avoid high premiums

You can buy .999 silver as half, quarter, and tenth of an ounce rounds.  There is nothing wrong with these items.  However, know two things—the collectible value will remain less, and when you buy 90% coin, you aren’t paying for any manufacturing or minting premium.  You will pay such premiums with the smaller three-niners.  Seven dimes in nearly all cases can be considered a touch more than a half ounce of silver; and 14 dimes a full ounce.  In terms of how much silver is out there as separate items each weighing less than one ounce, definitely at this time, there is more 90% coin than these newer bullion items.

If your silver consists entirely of three and four-niner bullion—stop!  Buy some dimes, or trade bullion for some dimes.  These 90% coins—in all denominations—are increasingly hard to source.  More investors have caught on that whereas these coins are a half century and older, and the supply is constantly shrinking; bullion silver will be produced as long as mining and scrap can supply silver.  The 90% silver, though not industrially pure as is, is nonetheless the scarcer form of silver.  If buying on E-Bay, do avoid dealers with less than very high positive feedback.  Be fairly quiet about your holdings—no boasting to anyone.  Keep these precious items in several scattered, and unpredictable—locations.  If a thief finds one cache, hopefully the others will be missed.

Tip: Where and how to store your bullion

If you don’t have a vault or safe, and plan to obtain one, you may consider paying cash, for clear reasons you can imagine yourself.  If it needs to be delivered and installed, arrange to have someone photograph the delivery personnel and the vehicle, from several views.  When my vaults were delivered to an off-site location I have, I remarked as they were finishing, “Now if I only had something worthwhile to store in them;” I then indicated I expected to inherit an antique gun collection in several years.  It never hurts to be careful.  Read “The Art Of War” by Sun-Tzu.  Many major military blunders, costing so many lives.  As always, check ratings first, and buy from the source with the best ratings.

There’s always the steel vault and loaded gun approach—which are quite reasonable.  I advise going on EBay and buying some cheap synthetic rubies.  Then, you make up a phony gemological appraisal showing a stone is worth lots of money.  Next, you place these in a jewelry box (unlocked) on top of a dresser.  A thief would think he’s got a real haul, and maybe decide to stop searching.  I suggest printing out articles making fun of silver as investment, and leaving these where you think it might mislead someone.  If you use a keypad operated vault, consider acquiring a battery recharger and the in case the power grid fails and the stores close.  If you find your battery operated keypad fails due to battery exhaustion, this device will solve the problem of accessing your money metal.  Be sure you’re using compatible batteries in the first place; they must be a size that matches the recharger, and must be rechargeable batteries.  Keep backup batteries in a climate controlled environment where they’ll last longer.  Cover any vault/safe with a tarp or other use of drapery, such as a decorative item—even a Mexican style multicolored serape or even plain canvas.  Whenever possible, place any type of objects of low value on top, around and in front of the safe.

Tip: Check what you are buying

Never buy a bag, half bag, quarter bag or tenth of a bag in a shop without first having it opened up and spread out, unless you have a long trust relationship with the dealer.  Paper rolls, more than plastic tube rolls, should be checked.  You aren’t accusing the dealer of dishonesty, you are verifying contents, because errors can happen on anyone’s part.  Eventually, due to real variations in silver weight in bags, these will have to be sold by actual weight rather than by face value times a factor!  Check ratings of Internet sellers before buying.  Many unfortunates out there are stressed out due to the Tulving fiasco.  I consider the 40% Kennedy halves (1965-1970) a poor choice as long as 90% is available.  The war nickel series, 1942-1945, contains even less silver, at 35% but is a better buy, weight for weight, if similar rates for contained silver are offered.  Those nickels are more historic.

In closing, Charles Savoie says: “The suppression of the silver price is the most nagging and pestilential problem in world monetary history.”

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