Do you know the thrill of finding a pre-1965 dime in your change from the grocery store? The current metal value of one is $2.59. Prior to 1965, dimes, quarters, 1/2 dollars and dollar coins were 90% silver. The coins were debased in 1965, leading to the current ones with the copper centers (1/2 dollars were 40% silver
The lowly 5 cent nickel may soon be going that way. According to this article, the current cost to the US Mint to make a 5 cent nickel is 9.24 cents. You don't have to be an economist to figure out that we really can't continue like that. The Mint recently had a public comment period to get feedback on coin compositions. From what I've read in different places over the past year or so, the conventional wisdom is that the nickel will be debased to cheaper metals sometime in the next few years. So what does that mean for us?
When the coin is debased, the current "nickel" will quickly dissappear from circulation. People who understand melt value will grab all they can and hold them for that 250% ROI 45 years later like silver coins enjoy now. I'm gradually building up a stock of nickels. There is absolutely no risk, it costs me 5 cents today, and it will be worth 5 cents tomorrow. It will never be worth less than 5 cents. We have two coin jars. One, all nickels go in... they do not get spent in pocket change, not left as tips, not dropped in the fountain, they go in the jar. The other jar is for all other coins and goes to the vacation fund. I also get rolled nickels from the bank whenever I get there. Sometimes it's only $4 or so, other times $20. It depends on what they have available in the drawers or if the vault teller is available. Those rolled nickels go in the safe as a part of the household emergency fund. If we truly need the money for an emergency, they are available (the hassel of taking care of an emergency with nickels really makes a person think if it is truly an emergency or not). If we don't need them for an emergency, they are just sitting there, awaiting the debasement of their nickel brothers, so they can go up in value. According to the base metal coin calculator at Coinflation.com, the current melt value of $1,000 in nickels is $1,295.04. That is a 29.5% return on investment just by not spending a 5 cent piece!
Should a person dump their 401K and put all their investments in nickels? Of course not. But saving your pocket change and adding a few rolls of them to your emergency fund can really pay off in the long run.