Do you know that you can still buy gasoline for 25 cents a gallon?
This claim is absolutely, totally, 100% true – if you pay with a quarter that was minted prior to 1965.
Our last article mentioned how much we like ‘junk silver’ coins – the dimes, quarters and half-dollars the U.S. Mint produced prior to 1965. These coins are 90% pure silver. A $1,000 face value bag of them contains 712 ounces of pure silver.
Prices for goods and services have changed very little in the last 50 years – or even in the past 2,000 years. It’s the value of our money that has changed… our purchasing power.
In those wonderful days of yesteryear, a gallon of gas cost less than 25 cents. In real money – that is, silver – that same quarter is worth around $2.50 today – or enough to get you one gallon of gas at the local station.
Remember when a loaf of bread was 25 cents? Well, a ‘junk silver’ quarter is worth about $2.50 today. It is possible to buy that loaf of bread today with a ‘junk silver’ quarter.
In Roman times, the very best toga in the marketplace, along with a pair of sandals and a wreath for your head, would set you back one gold Caesar, or whatever coinage you happened to have. Today, that same ounce of gold will buy the best suit of clothes you can find at your local department store – along with a shirt, tie, and other accoutrements.
Well, actually, not that same ounce of gold. If you happen to have a 2,000-year-old-gold coin in your possession, please don’t sell it for its bullion value. Even if it would be graded ‘very circulated’ by a professional numismatist, it is probably worth much more than its bullion content.
The point is simply this: The value of the goods you buy every day hasn’t changed. A loaf of bread is still a loaf of bread. Ditto a quart of milk, a gallon of gasoline, or a suit of clothes.
The reason they cost 10 or 20 or 50 times more than they did, isn’t that they are worth more. It is that our measuring stick, the U.S. dollar, is worth so much less. Back in our grandparents’ day, the dollar was not only backed by gold, but for most of this country’s existence, the U.S. government promised that it could be exchanged for gold at any bank in the federal system.
The Treasury also produced something called ‘silver certificates’ which operated the same way, except they could be exchanged for silver. And our government promised to keep enough gold and silver in its reserves to honor all of those commitments.
Today, the U.S. dollar is an “I.O.U. nothing,” as a friend of ours likes to put it. Oh, it says it is backed by “the full faith and credit of the United States.” But let me ask you: When you look at the disaster that Washington has made of the budget process and our economy, how much full faith and credit do you have in the people running the show today?
And how much full faith and credit do you have in the pieces of fiat currency called the U.S. dollar they are manufacturing by the trillions?
Unfortunately for many of us, the answer to both of these rhetorical questions is “very little” and “not much.” Or maybe “none.”
We will continue to urge you to exchange depreciating dollars for things of real value, such as gold and silver. Our story doesn’t change, because real money doesn’t change. It hasn’t for 5,000 years.
So if you need more of the real stuff, call our friends at Asset Strategies at 800-831-0007, or click here for more information about how you can start to add these bags of these coins to your SHTF assets – in amounts that won’t break your budget.