On the world market, there is a great demand for many types of metals, and sometimes it’s more than there are supplies of those metals to fill the demand. All metals have value, some more than others. For example, let’s look at lead, which is currently selling for about 2/3 the price of copper.
Lead is a good example of a metal with intrinsic value which people recognize. Most people know what lead is when they see it, and most know what they can do with it.
Like silver and copper, lead is very useful in industry, and like other metals its price has gone up. The USA has only one functioning lead mine left, and the rest of the lead consumed in the USA is either recycled or imported. Lead is needed in a vast number of things and in large amounts, such as car batteries and ammunition.
During a time of high inflation, as the US dollar drops, American raw material resources will still be in demand on the world market. No matter what, metals like lead will still be in demand.
Lead can easily be turned in for scrap to quickly generate cash in whatever is passing for legitimate government issued currency at the time. It can also be bartered or sold to other people. When barter is the dominant form of exchange, such as during a time of hyperinflation of the official currency, useful metals such as lead become a form of inflation resistant cash.
Lead is something which many will always have an immediate need for since it’s used for one of the most useful products ever made – bullets. In fact, you can add value to your lead by storing them as bullets, buckshot, bird shot, etc., ready to be loaded up as ammo. This gives you an extra avenue to convert your metal to cash when you need to.
Lead will always have an intrinsic value, especially as times get worse, because it’s useful, people know what it is, and it’s hard to counterfeit. FDR also never issued an executive order confiscating all privately owned lead.
While the price of lead may not skyrocket like gold, it won’t crash like it either. Gold has wildly crashed before, so has silver, and investors got sheared like sheep. Can you remember ever hearing of a ‘lead crash’?
The whole point of buying weighed ingots and rounds of metals isn’t speculation but stability, something gold and silver investors tend to forget sometimes. You want to lock up saved cash in an asset that is stable, inflation resistant, and quickly convertible back into to cash. All metals tend to be that way, not just gold and silver. What sets gold and silver apart is that they tend to be more highly speculative than other metals.
Let’s look at the numbers. Unlike gold, most people can afford to buy lead ingots. Lead is currently about 2/3 the price of copper, and more compact. It is very dense. You can currently buy small, stamped, five pound ingots of lead, as cash allows, from places like ACE Hardware for about $19. Unlike gold, there are no commissions from dealers, no record keeping of the purchase, just local sales tax.
A 100 pound stockpile of lead ingots is 20 ingots and its worth about $380 in today’s currency. During hyper-inflation, $380 in currency might get a loaf of bread or a candy bar. However, those metal ingots will most likely still convert into a current cash value equal to what $380 used to buy. You have just protected $380 from inflation and that wealth will be there when you need it. That could be enough to get you food, gas, and a host of other necessities, which just saving your money as currency wouldn’t have been able to do.
You can also get your own lead ingot molds from those who sell bullet casting supplies like Lee Precision (see the ammunition reloading chapter) and ‘mine’ your own lead from local scrap. You can even stamp the weight of each little ingot you make. Just be cautious of fumes and molten lead is hot, so be careful.
Lead is one way to start yourself on the road to self-employment in your own cottage industry. Get some bullet molds and go into business. With Corbin swaging equipment, lead, and some copper tubing, you can even make your own jacketed bullets. During WWII, when the supply of jacketed hunting bullets to civilians got cut off due to war needs, the Corbin family got wealthy making them as a home business.
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