I was reclining in an Adirondack chair near the third pier of my marina.
The sun was setting over the Chesapeake Bay as I sipped a beverage and enjoyed the cool weather of an early autumn sunset...
A spry young man who I later learned was named Hector sagged down in the empty chair next to me. He wore a black Adidas shirt and soccer shorts.
Hector was crewing on The Isabel, an 80-foot Hatteras up from Colombia.
But what was fascinating to me were his stories...
It turns out he lived though the economic collapse in Argentina back in 2001, and he was more than willing to share.
Hector was a small, refined man with the easy grace of a sailor.
He was the type of guy who, looking back, you would say was much taller than he actually was, if you know what I mean.
As one beer led to another, he went on about the slow-moving train wreck that happens with the breakdown of society and its systems...
There was the need for food, guns, and a generator. We had the normal conversations of armament: a shotgun or a pistol? (A pistol; you can't take a pump-action to the grocery store.)
But what struck me most was his emphasis on gold.
You see, after a government and banking failure, black markets appear overnight like mushrooms. They sell anything you can imagine: fruit and DVDs, clothes and eggs, guard dogs and hand grenades...
And everywhere there is someone who wants to buy gold.
Hector told me it wasn't gold coins or even gold bars that everyone was buying. It was junk gold.
He said, “Besides buying gold and silver coins, if I was to live through it again, I would buy as many gold rings as I could find. I would have a bags of junk gold rings.” He told me rings are best for little items. You can trade a ring.
You see, it's difficult to figure out if an item is real gold or not. No one on the side of the road will assay gold; therefore, it all gets priced for the lowest denominator. It is simply assumed the jewelry is junk.
Furthermore, a heavy gold chain can be torn from your neck. But rings can be carried around.
Buy Gold Jewelry
Buy lots of small rings and other jewelry. They should be less expensive than gold coins — but if the SHTF, you won't be losing money selling premium quality coins for the price of junk gold.
Hector told me gold buyers were very common at subways, train stations, and other crowded areas.
Gold coins are also good, he explained as he propped his feet on the white baluster and worried the peeling paint with his flip-flop.
If I had looked ahead, gold coins would have saved me lots of money. Even when things were at their worst, I could still go downtown to the big banks and get the full price for my gold coins... or I could trade them with other like-minded people who would know their true value.
But for small, local things, jewelery is much better than coins.
I thought about this as I tossed my empty beer can in the recycle bin and got up to go.
How many “We Buy Gold” shops are there on every side street and beaten-down strip mall on the outskirts of town?
Maybe we are farther down the path than we realize...
In Argentina, they didn't think the banks would close, or their private pension accounts would be taken over by the government. When they said the stock market would reopen a few days after the crash, people believed it.
Now, where can I get a bag of gold rings?
Take it easy,
Christian DeHaemer Since 1995, Christian DeHaemer has specialized in frontier market opportunities. He has traveled extensively and invested in places as varied as Cuba, Mongolia, and Kenya. Chris believes the best way to make money is to get there first with the most. Christian is the founder of Crisis & Opportunity and Managing Director of Wealth Daily. He is also a contributor for Energy & Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor's page.
Since 1995, Christian DeHaemer has specialized in frontier market opportunities. He has traveled extensively and invested in places as varied as Cuba, Mongolia, and Kenya. Chris believes the best way to make money is to get there first with the most. Christian is the founder of Crisis & Opportunity and Managing Director of Wealth Daily. He is also a contributor for Energy & Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor's page.