“And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.”
— Jeremiah 32:9
Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked about how the war cycles I follow are pointing to chaos ahead. And that having some “real money” in the form of physical gold is the smartest thing you can do right now to prepare. (Get the name and ticker of the single most attractive gold stock on earth right now here.)
But what about silver, gold’s sidekick “little brother”?
The silver shekel was used in Old Testament Israel while the silver drachma was the coin of the day in ancient Greece. And the Persians used silver coins as early as 612 BC.
The denarius was the standard Roman coin from its introduction in 211 BC to the reign of Gordian III (AD 238–244), spanning the time of Christ.
In the New Testament, the denarius was equivalent to a day’s wage for a common laborer. In fact, the “tribute penny” held up by Jesus in Mark 12:13–17 is believed to be a denarius with the head of Tiberius Caesar.
It’s also mentioned in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
In fact, the word denarius itself actually gave rise to the word for “money” in Italian (denaro), Portuguese (dinheiro) and Spanish (dinero). Its name even survives in “dinar” currencies used by a number of countries today.
The first coins struck in the English-American colonies were the “New England” coins authorized by the Massachusetts General Court in 1652. These simple silver coins were punch-stamped with the letters “NE” on one side and the denomination in pence on the other.
Meanwhile, Spanish colonial mints struck large quantities of “Pieces of Eight” from silver unearthed (or stolen) in Spanish America. These eight reales coins — along with fractional ½, 1, 2 and 4 reales counterparts — became the principal coins used by the American colonists.
On July 6, 1785, the U.S. established its own monetary unit. Because Americans were used to the Spanish piece of eight — also called the “dollar” — that had circulated in the original colonies, the new currency was given the same name.
The first U.S. Mint began operating in Philadelphia in 1793 … and the first silver dollar appeared the following year — the Flowing Hair dollar of 1794-’95.
Other versions of the silver dollar followed, including the familiar Morgan dollar (1878-1921) and Peace dollar (1921-’35) some of us received for Christmas as kids.
“Silver Certificates” were authorized under the Bland-Allison Act of 1878. Under this Act, the U.S. Treasury was to purchase $2 million–$4 million worth of silver every month from western mines.
Notice this bill has “Silver Certificate” instead of “Federal Reserve Note” printed at the top?
That’s because, unlike today’s bills, the Silver Certificate was redeemable for actual silver bullion!
Today, there are many options to build your silver hoard, including silver bars, which are a LOT more affordable than the equivalent weight of the gold variety!
There are also many silver coins to choose from. But I’d build your stash with American Silver Eagles or Canadian Silver Maple Leafs.
Related post: Do you have enough REAL money?
And believe it or not, there’s a little-known way you can get free silver from your local bank:
“Junk” silver refers to the 90% silver coins minted by the U.S. prior to 1965. They can sometimes still be found in banks today. You would just ask if they have any half-dollars on hand… or buy several rolls of quarters or dimes. Then simply look for any coins dated 1964 or before.
And with silver likely heading to over $125 (it’s trading at around $18 now), the sooner you get some in your hands, the better.
All the best,