Article Image

Silver as a Barter Currency

Written by Subject: Currencies
For all those interested in silver as a barter currency I have created a cheat-sheet to help assist you. The first is a pdf file based on a spot price of $18.32, which shows the silver content of U.S. circulated coins and the frn value based on the $18.32 spot price.
The second is the same, but in Excel format to adjust and recalculate the value based on a new spot price.

barter cheat sheet - pdf

barter cheat-sheet - excel

The problem is that silver coins are not denominated conveniently to be used as money. Clearly we cannot rely on the U.S. Mint to do its job of minting real currency, so I propose we do with what we have. When enough demand is generated, then private mints will come to meet the demand and create denominations that are more convenient (maybe they've done it already and I just haven't found it), denominations like 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10th oz coins. The other issue is the nomenclature by which we communicate with each other.

My Proposal:
People will notice that between the years of 1916 and 1964, one hundredth of an ounce of silver was approximately equal to 'one cent'. I suggest we go back to this 'standard', meaning 'one cent' refers to 1/100th of an oz of silver. This will allow us to use circulated U.S. currency for small transactions and interchange them with 1oz silver bullion. Rather than the value of the coin being based on what the U.S. Mint happened to print on its face, it would be based on the actual silver content.

A 1942-1945 Nickel has a silver content of .06 oz. We would consider this to have a value of 6 cents rather than its face value of 5 cents. A 1932-1964 Washington Quarter would be considered having a value of 18 cents and so on...

When selling an item say that is worth $1 (frn), then one could attach a label that reads '6¢'. When people pull out 6 fiat cents, then that's a good opportunity to say I don't take that debased stuff. If they still don't get it, then hand them a 'money masters' or 'debt as money' dvd and say come back and we'll do business when it makes sense (or however you choose to explain it).

This is just an idea, if others have other ideas or thoughts please comment.

more info at:

How about we "End the Fed" today? Here in Phoenix, Az we are going to make our first attempt, this Saturday. We are going to hold what we call a "Community Market Square" or barter day of sorts where people will be able to come and trade using silver (or whatever) as a currency.
Maybe we can "End the Fed" without ever casting a ballot :)



Silver ContentCurrentNickel
DenominationDescription(100th oz) price ¢Value (frn)Exchange
$0.051946-2010 Nickel (silver equivalent)0.3 ₵$0.050.04“= 0.01 si”
$0.051942-1945 Nickel5.6 ₵$1.0320.82# Nickels
$0.101916-1945 Mercury Dime7.2 ₵$1.3326.76# Nickels
$0.101946-1964 Roosevelt Dime7.2 ₵$1.3326.76# Nickels
$0.501965-1970 Half Dollar (40% silver)14.8 ₵$2.71

$0.251916-1930 Standing Liberty Quarter18.1 ₵$3.31

$0.251932-1964 Washington Quarter18.1 ₵$3.31

$1.001971-1976 Eisenhower Dollar (40% silver)31.6 ₵$5.79

$0.501916-1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollar36.2 ₵$6.63

$0.501948-1963 Franklin Half Dollar36.2 ₵$6.63

$0.501964 Kennedy Half Dollar36.2 ₵$6.63

$1.001878-1921 Morgan Dollar77.3 ₵$14.17

$1.001921-1935 Peace Dollar77.3 ₵$14.17

10 Comments in Response to

Comment by Robert Emery
Entered on:

 Myself ,I perfer silver tokens which are sold at close to spot as possible.Bartering with silver which already has a 35% mark up at purchase price is not really a value for either you or the merchant.In a free market to have value for value a silver token needs to be as close to intrinsic value or the trade is already inflated.One would not want to purchase an item for 35% more that its value,just as one would not want to pay 100% for 65% worth of work.I don't feel that adding unit pricing,such as a token having the value of a certain number of units is any better than (FRN'S).Only yourself and the person you barter with should decide value's.not have someone else determine them for you.Delvalley is never more than a $1.50 above spot and you decide the value of your trade.

Comment by Robert King
Entered on:

Ok, not sure why they won't show up, but here they are without being linked.  Sorry about that.

There are others out there who are starting community currencies using silver also.  I don't have the links for those though.

Comment by Robert King
Entered on:

My links did not appear in the bottom article.  They are there, but no text showed up.  Let me try again:

Barter Coins 

American Open Currency Standard

Del Valley Silver

Comment by Robert King
Entered on:


As a whole, I agree that silver as a means of barter IS the future of freedom, away from debt-ridden Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) that serve only a few.  The one problem that I have is Gresham's Law, which states that "bad money drives out good money," especially under legal tender laws.  This is why I COULD NEVER spend my silver at spot value.  The problem facing us is greater than coming up with a sheet that states a silver trading price each day based upon a "spot trading number," that is for all intents and purposes, worthless since bankers control these numbers with shorts on the market and paper futures.  I for one, am NOT WILLING to part with my silver at spot value for good or services.  What benefit would it be to me to spend silver at the same rate I spend cash?  I might as well spend the cash since I DON'T WANT CASH to hold, I WANT SILVER!  I want to get rid of all the FRNs as a means of saving and spending because it is falling in value.  Meanwhile, silver is increasing (or at least holding-inflation etc.) in value over time.  Why spend the the "good" money at the same rate as cash?  If I can buy one troy ounce of silver for $19 and that one trouy ounce only gets me $19 worth of goods, have I done myself any favors?  The simple answer is NO.  I spent what is "bad" money to buy "good" money and spent it at the same rate.  It makes no sense and might as well be cash if used in this fashion.  In order to overcome Gresham's Law, a benefit to the user MUST EXIST to spend the "good" money.  For example; while I would not spend one ounce of silver for spot price, I may be enticed into spending it if given a "discount" on goods and services.  Spending the silver with a merchant would be akin to using a coupon.  The silver is the coupon.  If I am receiving savings of say 10% - 50%, depending on the item and its' cost of goods sold (COGS), then I would have reason to part with my "good" money.  Consider how many businesses in the U.S. use coupons to bring in new customers.  Millions!  Instead of trading in a worthless piece of paper as a coupon to incent customers to buy here or eat here, why not use something with REAL WORLD VALUE as your coupon.  That's right, you guessed it.....SILVER!!!  In this fashion, not only could you bring new customers to your establishment, but imagine the buzz around town when people now want to purchase "silver coupons" to eat at their favorite restaurant.  This would drive the silver market exponentially higher by demand.  You would also be creating a new network of businesses who accept silver in your neighborhoods so that they may trade with each other.  This is the future, and the time to implement it is RIGHT NOW.  BEFORE any SHTF scenario.  We need to educate and acclimate the marketplace to the use of sound money, gold and silver.  I have noticed that there are organizations popping up around the country that are doing just this sort of thing.  Following is a few links to some I have found:




While all of these sites offer different ways on trading silver, the important part is that they offer trading silver.  I personally like the American Open Currency Standard website ( as they seem to have the most merchants so far and they seem to understand that silver must be used for something other than spot.  At any rate, I SUPPORT ALL forms of trade with silver and in a truly free marketplace, the only thing that matters is whether or not BOTH the client and the merchant are happy with their exchange.

  If there is ONE THING that will change this nation back into something worth having, it is changing the money and getting rid of the central bankers.  Only that will stop the mayhem that is occurring within our supposed "halls of justice."  As far as winning elections and putting in real representatives of the people instead of politicians, it's a valiant effort but NO CHANGE will come until the money is changed.  You can not outspend Washington and the lobbyists and corporate America when they have ALL THE MONEY and the press that makes it.  They will continue to do as they please and you and I will continue to be asked to foot the bill.  If WE CHOOSE, to no longer use their money, what do they then hold over us?  We have been warned by our forefathers of the dangers of banking and what would happen if we ever allowed someone to control our money.  Did we listen?? NO!  What they warned us of is already here, it's not Washington controlling this nation, it's the purveyors' of rotten money!!  Time for them to go.........

Thanks for your time and thank you Tom for a great article.  I wish you success at your "Community Market Square" on Saturday.  Let's make the future bright for our children, let's use REAL MONEY.

Comment by Ken Valentine
Entered on:

 The Kennedy half dollar was first issued in 1964 -- it had just as much silver in it as the 1963 Franklin half dollar.

The silver content was lowered in 1965 -- the second year the Kennedy "half" was issued.

Comment by Forty Four O Nine
Entered on:

This kicks azzzzz

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

 Tom, the Kennedy halves run 1965-1969 as 40% .15oz Ag.  1970 dropped the silver.   Might want to update.

Also, for those who are interested avg. going price right now incl. shipping is approx $2.70

Comment by Sharlene Holt
Entered on:

Thanks for taking the time to work all of this out, Tom. You are a brilliant activist! I'm proud to know you. 

Comment by Tom Westbrook
Entered on:

I  think it's there, line 5 although It's not called a kennedy and the years are 1965-1970

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

 Tom, please add the 1965-1969 Kennedy halves to the list.  They are 40% silver and weigh in at just shy of .15 oz at a current $18/oz silver cost of approx $2.70 a apiece.

It's like the post-SHTF new $3 bill!  :)