The notion of “precious” metal as a “store of value” is self-refuting:
Here’s a thought-experiment:
(This thought experiment would probably cause Karl to have an aneurysm) 🙂
Assume some sort of “apocalyptic” chain of events — say, a pandemic, sufficiently virulent to rip through a significant proportion of the population too quickly for the CDC/”Big Pharma” to be of any use.
Now, here’s the thing:
The (purported) “value” of anything is *exclusively* determined by two factors:
SUPPLY and DEMAND.
Crudely put: “Scarcity” is a relative – not absolute – notion.
Now, let’s think about what would happen to the (supposedly ‘intrinsic’) value of (so-called) “precious” metals in the above scenario:
1. First, assuming the pandemic tended to result in a high rate of fatality, there would be a significant decrease in population. There would *also* be a significant up-surge in persons rendered – temporarily or permanently – unable to meaningfully engage in the “exchange of goods and services” (production/trade).
Now, here’s the thing: the two (purported) sources of “value” typically mentioned by gold-fetishists are: “ornamental” value (IE: jewelry, etc.), and “industrial” uses (IE: electrical conductor, etc.)
Now, here’s the problem with that:
In any genuine SHTF scenario, the SUPPLY of gold (as well as any other supposedly “precious” metal) will become drastically skewed in terms of DEMAND:
Exactly how “valuable” will (say) “ornamental” (mis)uses (rings/chains/pendants, etc.) continue to be, when they can simply be RETRIEVED FROM THE (EVER-INCREASING) PILES OF CORPSES created by the pandemic?
Same thing goes for the (slightly more rationally-justifiable) “industrial” uses of gold: the fact that gold HAPPENS TO BE a good electrical conductor will mean exactly DICK in the (all-too-likely) even that the “grid” goes down.
So, no: Gold-buggery is a superstitious delusion rooted in the fact that most people are too stupid to be able to look past the boundaries of their particular social/economic/cultural “box”.
Tl;DR: post-SHTF, that notionally “precious” Krugerrand? You won’t be able to exchange it for something of *genuine* value (food/seed/tools/weapons/knowledge, etc.) – and will likely end up becoming one of the (myriad) corpses nobody in their right mind would even bother looting for gold.
Your SHOES will be infinitely more valuable than that particular lump of metal.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: SOME hunks of metal will “still” be valuable: bullets, blades, tools, etc.
Not that many of those who happen to remain in possession of such things will be in any sort of hurry to “exchange” them. (Remember, “value” – in the purely economic sense of the term – is merely the relationship between the “supply” of something, and the “demand” for that thing.)
Now, what gold-bugs usually mean when they prattle about gold being a ‘store of value” is: “I really, really, really, really HOPE that somebody, and some future point in time, will continue to be SUPERSTITIOUS enough to exchange something of GENUINE value/do something for me, in exchange for this just-barely-useful lump of metal.”
Ironically enough, even that “fiat” paper money gold-bugs waste some much time and energy denigrating as “worthless” will be INFINITELY MORE VALUABLE than your stupid little trinket of a Krugerrand:
Paper can serve a multitude of distinctly utilitarian purposes: fuel for cooking-fires, for one thing. Also, you can’t wipe your ass with “bling”.
So, no: the (purported) “value” of gold is a mix of superstition and magical thinking – neither of which are “intrinsic”, either to gold itself, or to humankind.