GS, while I’d agree that relatively few people are storing some of their wherewithal in gold and silver, I also observe that the $US “price” of those (and other) commodities fluctuate (usually, inversely) with changes in the stock market and the general economic news, which I take to mean that at least some people do consider them to have value. Ergo, a “market” for such exists. I would think, that as has been pointed out in other forums, some circulated, small-denomination US silver coinage, will be recognizable enough to be an acceptable trade medium in a grid-down event, or between individuals in the coming forced digital-only-currency economy.
Gold coins, especially the 1 ounce variety, will serve better as a long-term store of value to outlast the distortions, ripoffs, and craziness that digital-only currency is designed for. This may mean that those who have such savings may find no reasonable (or needful) way to spend them in their own lifetimes, other than perhaps, to facilitate an escape, or to purchase land from those willing to part with it. (Gold has been described as “portable land.”)
But the whole idea of “the dollar (peso, yen, pound, rouble, etc.) price of gold is in some ways, at least as silly as computing the “rise” of the iceberg from the “elevational standard” provided by the deck of the sinking Titanic. It is gold that is the 5,000 year-old benchmark, not any of the imminently pervertible currencies ever invented, since the humans who figured out how to mint, print, or create them at the keyboard, also figured out how to fake, and inflate them to their advantage, and our loss.
As you pointed out in another article, an ounce of gold has, since early days, been worth approximately the same (and in material terms, at least, never zero.) An ounce of gold would have bought a fine woolen toga, or a skillfully-wrought sword, in Caesar’s day. The same would have bought one of Hart, Schaffner & Marx’s finest suits, or one of Colt’s best pistols at the turn of the 20th, or of the 21st centuries, give or take a little small change. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (My guess is that, on average, finding, mining, and protecting an ounce of gold, has been on average, as difficult now, and across the centuries, as then.)
Gold has its risks, but loss of value to the knowledgeable is probably not one of them. Yet there may come laws, and governmental lawlessness, that will make the exchange, indeed the mere possession of gold, temporarily risky. When the King has rape on his mind, he wants all a$$es bare.
Addendum: Not to encourage greed, but other things being equal, how disappointed would you be, to run across someone who wished to be rid of his gold coins, badly enough to sell or trade them at a steep discount? It would pay to have means to veriify the genuine article.