We all have a story about the paranoid conspiracy theorist down the street – the “survivalist” who insists on hoarding supplies into his bomb shelter, bringing in dehydrated food and emergency power generators in case of a disaster. In these cases, it’s common to look around at the relatively peaceful world in the immediate proximity and wonder, “what could possibly happen?”

What’s more, these survivalists often seem to advocate using gold and other metals as part of their survival heap. Have you ever wondered what good gold can do in a survival situation? If something terrible did happen, what on Earth would gold do to help things? Isn’t food and water enough.

As it turns out, hoarding gold coins isn’t the worst idea in the world, especially if you already have the money for it. Countries and nations on this planet have been on the gold standard before, and gold has been traded as one of the most valuable forms of currency since the dawn of civilization. Even though the trading of a metal might seem arbitrary in a post-survivalist environment, a global economic collapse or re-organizaiton of currency could mean that gold was a wise – and even prudent – investment after all.

Gold as an investment

For many people, investments are ways to make money, but for others, investments are made for the purpose of security. Owning land, or other limited items like commodities, can be a great way to take money out of the market and put it directly into your net worth – and keep it there. Investment isn’t only about making money, it’s about keeping money, and in these tough economic times, it’s not hard to see why people might not choose a bank for those purposes.

Gold is a commodity that works this way. Gold is an investment that can be used to make money – if you buy and sell gold futures, for example, you can make money on rising prices. But it can also be used to keep money, a way for you to exchange your dollars into gold without worrying about the value of gold plummeting over the long-term. Inflation might hit the dollar, but if your money’s in gold, you have another wall against the tide of economic trouble.

Because of this, survivalists will flock to gold, even in small amounts, just to make sure that their currencies are diversified. While the more pessimistic survivalists might say that gold could be the only way of trading in the future, level-headed survivalists do see the real value potential of gold, which will always have trading value in the world economy. Currencies rise and fall, but gold is usually stable because it is generally a fixed commodity – there is only so much of it in the world.

This is how survivalists see gold, and perhaps it’s not such an unhealthy way to see things. Instead of wondering why they hoard everything, ask yourself why a survivalist might think gold is such a good investment for security purposes. You might find yourself asking the same questions about gold, and maybe even making an investment in gold yourself.

Gold as a currency

Survivalists might also think that gold could replace world currencies that are based on the fiat principle. This isn’t such a crazy idea, considering how often in history the great civilizations have relied on gold or the gold standard in order to conduct trade and commerce. One way to look at gold right now is as another currency – another type of money to be exchanged. Like many people invest in foreign money and trade back into other currencies to turn a profit, people use gold as a commodity much in the same way.

For this reason, gold could be viewed as a sort of “universal currency,” something basic and elemental like water that has intrinsic value. Fiat systems of currency have abruptly shifting values, including inflation, because they’re based on no commodity. Many survivalists who see the value of gold also see the value of the gold standard and believe we should return to it.

Gold as a currency has been one of the most reliable ways to trade money, and it’s actually a shock that, to this day, we still don’t use gold coins. It’s not hard to see why survivalists hoard gold coins, especially if they do fear impending economic disasters or global meltdowns of currency. Gold is a stabilizing force in the economy, and it has been since the dawn of civilization. Whether you want gold as a security measure, or as an investment, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to look into buying this rare commodity.