US NickelIt has been argued by those in the prepper and survival community that because nickels (pre-2011ish) contain 75% copper and 25 % nickel will appreciate with inflation and/or precious metals.  It’s been said that the price of the nickel will go up in a post economic collapse scenario.  My own preliminary research says this is debatable.  I’m no economist, neither am I a financial advisor, so I’ll try to spare you much hyperbole.

So, what is a U.S. issue nickel worth today?  As of June 28th, 2013, the Website, Coinflation said that a 1946 – 2013 nickel melt value is actually worth $0.0422916, almost .$0068 cents less than the actual $.05 it is supposed to be worth.  Here is how they derived at that number:


1. Calculate 75% copper value :  (3.0519 × .00220462262 × 5.00 × .75) = $0.0252307

2. Calculate 25% nickel value : (6.1911 × .00220462262 × 5.00 × .25) = $0.0170609

3. Add the two together : $0.0252307 + $0.0170609 = $0.0422916

Here is is how they came to the numbers in the formula:

  • $3.0519 = copper price / pound on Jun 28, 2013.
  • .75 = copper %
  • $6.1911 = nickel price / pound on Jun 28, 2013.
  • .25 = nickel %
  • 5.00 = total weight in grams
  • .00220462262 = pound/gram conversion factor (see note directly below)

Of course, the value is derived from the day’s spot price for both nickel and copper.  If either of those metals spike on the commodities market, then the value of the nickel increases, but if the value of the metals goes down so does the value of the nickel.  Not taken into consideration (arguably) is the street value the public places on what a nickel is really worth.  Just like the penny, I feel the nickel is one of those coins greatly invisible to the average sheep on the street.  Is that an advantage for the prepper type?  Would stockpiling ammo boxes of nickels be advantageous or just clutter up the preppers space already?

I already buy silver, and the ‘experts’ have been saying silver is going to spike, continue to rise, etc. as the economy does better or does worse.  As of this week I saw the spot price of silver at $19.66 per troy ounce at spot price as of June 28th.  It is one of the lowest closing prices it has been in a LONG time.  I’m underwater on much of my silver, and if I continue to ‘watch’ the pricing, I am going to be a bit upset.  But if I continue to buy at this price, at some point it will average out and lower my overall costs because I am accumulating more.  It’s hard to say what to do.

Let me know what you think.  I’m debating whether this is a smart task to begin hoarding nickels and undertaking along with my other preparations.

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.