We were talking about rolling coin across out knuckles at work (don’t ask, I have no idea why we were talking about that),
so I pulled out my $5 Canadian Maple Leaf coin to try it. My manager immediately asked, “What’s that?” I showed her and explained that it is one ounce of silver. Sure, it has a value of 5 Canadian dollars printed on it, but the value of the silver at that point was a hair below 30 bucks. I had bought it 5 months earlier for around 18 bucks.
Her next question was, “Why do you carry that around?” The most basic answer is that I like it. There is something solid and reassuring about the size and weight. With a little more thought, I also like it as a conversation starter, and it had worked this time too. It gave me the opportunity to mention the difference between fiat currency and hard money. Don’t worry, I never go into too much detail, unless they are interested of course…
I also carry it around to remind myself of the difference between how the currency maker and the market value money. Everything varies in price over time, but paper money’s and regular coins’ values are changed by that country’s central bank primarily. The government can print whatever value it wants on silver, but they have zero control over the actual value. In an ideal world, no single group could hold sway over the value of our money, our store of value. This is as close as we can come to that right now. It’s good to be constantly reminded of that.