Certainly the last decade has seen an explosion in precious metals investment and buying — so much so that the mainstream media even picked up the trend. Prior to that time, owning physical precious metals was the purview of a small segment of society, namely, those who realized how fragile the fabric of our economic and social systems had become.
Our modern economic system, whether in times of boom or bust, is still fully-dependant on fiat currencies — meaning currencies that only derive value from government decree, or fiat. All modern major currencies are fiat currencies, possessing value only because they are decreed to have value. Savvy investors and those who prepare well for the future quickly saw the house of cards for what it is — a system based entirely on credit, where money is created and lent into existence by the very institutions that stand to profit by it. Requiring infinite growth, such an economic system cannot endure forever, sowing the seeds for what we all expect to come — financial and economic crises followed by social upheaval and, possibly, collapse.
People that excel at preparing for the worst have, in increasing numbers, been stocking up on the types of products and tools necessary for life. Realizing how fragile our system has become, they are ensuring that they are able to provide the bare minimums for themselves and the families. Specific goods and tools are, however, not fungible. That means they have little ability to be used interchangeably as a means of exchange. This role has been fulfilled by currencies, which works well enough when currencies are accepted by all as having sound and stable value. However, what happens if currencies are greatly devalued, or collapse entirely?
In such a scenario, this vacuum will be filled by precious metals. Gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, and even copper *are* fungible. Throughout human history, they have been means of exchange – vehicles with which somebody can purchase goods and services. They are, in effect, the very embodiment of money.
Today, most precious metals are traded electronically without anybody taking physical possession of the actual metal — investors looking to make a quick buck. In this context, precious metals are no different from any other commodity. We know, however, how important it is to own physical precious metals. Physical ownership of precious metals has continued to grow, reaching new heights after the financial meltdown of 2008. Imagine how much they will skyrocket in value during the next major economic calamity.
Owning physical gold and silver is an important component of preparing for an uncertain future. In the entire history of human civilization, no other commodities have maintained their worth and purchasing power like gold and silver. Every piece of potentially-worthless fiat currency that is converted into physical precious metal is another brick added to your wall of financial security.