Top 10 Post Apocalyptic Currencies More Valuable Than Gold

10 Post-Apocalyptic Currencies More Valuable
Than Gold 10. Candles Currencies need portability (you can carry
them with you), scalability (different values to facilitate trading in varying quantities
or goods), durability (so they can actually change hands) and, once society is thrown
into chaos and all sense of order, infrastructure, and governance is reduced from Space Age efficiency
to primal tribalism, utility. That is, we won’t be wasting time with portraits of
dead royalty or shiny rocks. Money will be something that everyone needs. So when our ability to generate heat and light
with the flip of a switch gets undermined, the demand for candles is going to go up and
stay up, making them a solid option for conducting trade. Candles-as-currency will run from your
basic wax-and-string candle to the more sophisticated oil-burning lantern. Given humanity’s innate
fear of the dark, you can bet that candle-makers will be more popular among the bedraggled
survivors of society’s collapse than prospectors and bankers. Candle-making has long been a favorite hobby
of survivalists and DIY off-the-grid preppers for good reason; taking care of the basics
in a survival situation means candles—not gold—are the go-to commodity. 9. Shoes When all other currencies collapse, you can
bet quality shoes will hold their value. Shoes have a bit more robust utility even than candles,
as they perform not just a variety of basic functions, but can carry some amount of status,
too. Nothing says “I survived The Big One” better than wearing your valuables around
like it is still Ancient Rome. Conspicuous consumption may be tempered by volatile economic
forces, but the deep-seated drive to buy status symbols tends to be strongest among the worst-off.
Paradoxically, that could well mean that survivors of a global disaster would have an appetite
for shoes that make a statement. And of course, no pilgrimage to the rumored
Safe Place that somehow made it through the storm unharmed could make it far without some
resilient footwear. Whether escaping, working, or curb-stomping the infected hordes one skull
at a time, shoes are a guaranteed must-have commodity after the apocalypse, and can quickly
convert to food in your belly or a blanket on your shoulders. 8. Children Listen: nobody is condoning slavery here.
But it isn’t exactly without precedent; ever heard of a bride price? Basically, babies
have a price and expected value, and losing a baby-maker, i.e. a female family member,
carries an opportunity cost that grooms and their families are expected to offset—and
this is a pre-apocalyptic practice. Even without throwing death and destruction into the mix,
everyone from China to Japan to England (circa Children of Men) can attest, youth is a finite
resource for which there are no substitutes. This makes children precious, tradable, and
perfectly viable as a currency substitute. Also consider that, after a worldwide meltdown
of current, high-tech systems of production and transportation, people will be stuck not
just on a Paleo diet, but caveman-ing it up through a whole lifestyle of pre-industrial
DIY extremes that all mean labor is the most valuable “thing” in the land. If overnight
the world went from growing fears of robots taking our jobs to Wall Street bankers hunkering
down behind a plow to avoid starvation, you can bet that no amount of money can substitute
for having a few more hands in the field or a few more able-bodied workers pounding on
anvils and sewing up cloth. For better or worse (realistically, probably
worse, but that never stopped a money-making scheme before), children will represent a
store of potentially lifelong wealth that makes them tradable commodities. 7. Books The whole reason the printing press was so
revolutionary was because it made knowledge available to the masses, and it required almost
no infrastructure. Compare that to the integrated systems of electricity generation; server
farms (with their own requisite need for adequate climate controlling infrastructure); mobile
devices with hardware and integrated support for various access platforms; coders and programmers;
and the host of raw and processed materials needed to make digital data storage viable. Any number of things could disrupt the infrastructure
necessary to make magnetic data storage go kaput, and suddenly those old, archaic paper
warehouses known as “libraries” will be veritable treasure troves of invaluable information. If you believe the end is nigh, don’t fill
all the shelf space in your fallout shelter with canned food; stock a bookcase or two,
and just see if you don’t find your encyclopedic knowledge of such arcane subjects as “first
aid” and “growing food” makes you uncommonly popular—and wealthy. 6. Alcohol Depending on the quantity, alcohol-nutrient
content ratios, purity, and other such variables, this one stands to serve a whole bevy of economic
purposes. There is no question that people will work for booze; heck, if it was good
enough for the pyramids, it is good enough for the post-modern apocalypse. Alcohol, it turns out, has been a popular
alternative currency just about as long as people have known how to make it. And, just
as with the best sorts of luxury commodities, alcohol can be crafted into a whole spectrum
of different varieties of wide-ranging strengths, quality, and exclusivity. When something is
functional at a basic level, yet can be refined enough to convey status and wealth, you know
you are on the right track to replace gold as a currency. Leaving aside the mind-altering properties
of alcohol, it may be worth bearing in mind that it makes a fine disinfectant and sedative
(hey, modern anesthesia is standing on the shoulders of booze as it is), ensuring that
even teetotalers will be willing to shell out some eggs and jerky in exchange for a
bottle or two. 5. Knives Knives are useful, convenient, fashionable,
and sure to be in universal demand; all the hallmarks of great post-apocalyptic money. A lot of survivalists and zombie movie fans
might insist that guns and bullets make more sense than knives, but as the Mythbusters
proved, you can’t very easily shoot down a tree with guns, much less carve up a chicken
for dinner. If we accept for a moment that post-apocalyptic trade is actually going to
take place, and that life isn’t just an endless shoot-em-up race across a charred
desert landscape, knives actually come out on top as a viable means of exchange. In fact, ancient China—the same society
that first invented gunpowder and the ancestor of all firearms—also pioneered using knives
as currency already. Feel free to hoard your arsenal, by all means, but if you want to
go to market, you better make like the second Terminator and stick to “knives and stabbing
weapons.” 4. Seeds Mad Max: Fury Road got it right. You can have
all the guns, bullets, flame-throwing guitars, vehicles, oil, and child-bearing women you
can lock in a mountain vault, but seeds will still be a game-changing ingredient. The world has grown accustomed to a supply
chain that takes “food” and turns it into “value-added processed snacks” that have
all but bankrupted traditional family farms, turning over the global production of edibles
to a shrinking number of massive corporations. When the systems that make “money” more
than just scribbles on pieces of paper dissolve, so will our ability to get avocados in Calgary
year-round. The value of human labor will skyrocket in
part because so much of it will be needed to keep farms operating and churning out seasonally-determined,
locally grown, non-refrigerated produce. At the heart of this whole system are the little
powerhouses of life we plant in the ground to turn into food: seeds. Those who managed
to preserve non-GMO seeds (that grow plants actually capable of producing their own, non-proprietary
seeds) will be carrying around pockets full of, well, gold. But better. 3. Honey And, by extension, honey bees. In combination
with the aforementioned seeds, bees become an integral part of the agricultural system
that, sadly, hasn’t thrived under pre-apocalyptic conditions. But outside the bees themselves, honey is
an incredibly versatile, functional, non-synthetic substance with myriad applications. From anti-septic
properties and other healthcare uses to its value as a dietary supplement, honey has much
to recommend it. Taken together, honey and honey bees play
an integral part in enabling humans to survive in a world without the modern means of production
of medical care. Portability and scalability are easily achieved, if not inherent, and
the ubiquity of need and value make it a solid option for universal trade. 2. Sugar In many ways, sugar was the very foundation
of the New World, aka the driving force behind colonization of the Western Hemisphere. Classic
U.S. imagery tends to dwell on tobacco fields and especially cotton plantations as the setting
for American slavery, but in reality it was sugarcane that drove the greatest demand for
enslavement and forced labor. One of humanity’s favorite drugs, sugar
is equal parts natural resource and tradable commodity. If the social order governing the
societies of the world were blown up by forces or events unknown, there is no way that our
appetite for/addiction to sugar would disappear along right with indoor plumbing and absentee
ballots. The means of production responsible to produce
sugar actually make it remarkably similar to gold: the supply is limited in part by
the sheer difficulty in getting appreciable quantities of it, and in a form that makes
it practical to use for trade. Of course, while the supply of gold is finite, sugar
(in theory) could continue to scale along with the redevelopment of the economy, making
it as durable as it is practical as a means of conducting trade. This is actually one of the leading arguments
against using gold as a currency: the cost involved in its extraction routinely exceeds
the value of any gold extracted. Sugar production is difficult, but it can also be done in a
sustainable system rather than an earth-depleting mining operation. 1. Salt Salt is, literally, the original currency.
Consider the word salary, and you start to get the picture of just how foundational salt
is as a store of value and wealth. The lives of humans, the fates of empires, and the seasoning
of meats the world over have hinged on the production and distribution of salt for centuries.
So, the smart money says that a piddling world-ending apocalypse won’t get in the way of salt’s
domination of all life on earth. Unlike many other items on this list, salt
is not just a luxury, a status symbol, or any other sort of nice-to-have—even though
it has, at various times, been all of those things. Salt is used to preserve other foods,
making it the next-best thing to refrigeration in a world without an electrical grid (or,
you know, Freon circulation systems). Salt trumps gold on every other measure of
what makes a currency viable—and in the event of The Big One, it may be your ticket
to wealth, prosperity, and survival.

100 thoughts on “Top 10 Post Apocalyptic Currencies More Valuable Than Gold

  1. Read more about Post Apocalyptic lists:
    Read more lists written by Edgar Wilson:

  2. I think bullets especially well made maybe military issue rounds would be high up on the list of stuff to trade for: food, water, basic human services like making clothes or waste removal. I doubt too many hospitals would be able stay open so preventing disease, in my opinion would be pretty important so medical supplies such as pills that can't be pressed anymore would be invaluable as well.

  3. Almost everything on this list would be plentiful in a post-apocalyptic environment. You know, seeing as how there would be thousands of buildings filled with these things. And few people around to take them. Apparently, the folks who made this video don't understand the simple nature of supply and demand.

    This is more like the top ten things you would want in the apocalypse. The majority of these items would not have much intrinsic value. Books and shoes would be everywhere. Every house would have them. Not to mention libraries and shoe stores. And even though alcohol would have value, it's something that anyone can make. And you could easily get salt by just scooping up a bucket of seawater and letting it evaporate.

    Pretty much everything on this list can be made. You can't make gold.

    Here are some things that would be used as currency in a post-apocalypse:
    -Drugs (any)(especially aspirin)
    -Livestock (especially cows & chickens)
    -Duct Tape (believe it)
    -Oil (people would more likely use lanterns instead of candles)

  4. Gold, silver, other precious metals and precious and semi-precious gem stones are only real wealth that exists.

  5. having been homeless I can say that pretty much all of this is true some are already invaluable resources and tradeable items among the homeless

  6. I knew salt was number one! I still remember a 7th grade social studies lesson were I learnt how valuable salt was to our ancestors.

  7. Try to take my kids in the end of civilization ill take your hands then id take your eyes for even attempting to take my kids as a currency

  8. Perhaps replace every instance of 'will be' with 'would be'. Unless that is you have access to some future predictive technology.

  9. A lot of words in this video are used to say something like "This is better than gold because…". When you're top dog, everyone wants to be better. Even the ancients used gold as a much more compact and tradeable currency than food, etc.

  10. Babies may well have been people. People are still a commodity today as shown by the shocking stories we hear of human trafficing. Unless a baby is taken, I can't imagine someone trading their own baby for food. Mothers die protecting their children, 1 fighting of a mountain lion with her bare hands. A baby in an apocalypse is another mouth to feed, a liability when hiding for your life and does absolutely nothing for its upkeep. A person however can work and well… Can be screwed. Books will only be a commodity to a small few, ignorance will reign and unless people need fuel for the fire, books won't be worth much to anyone but a diehard librarian. The smart are often weak and the weak often die first. I don't doubt knives will be a commodity but not 1 higher in demand than bullets. Any idiot can make a cutting tool by smashing a rock, of course longer lasting stone instruments does take specialist knowledge but bone even tin foil can be used to make knives. For use on food forget it, as a weapon the is some value in metal blades but not half as valuable as bullets. Can you make gunpowder? Seeds…. I think you underestimate peoples desire for things now over later. I think the movie Tomorrowland aptly showed this which is mirrored in todays society. You yourself has said that governments do not want to plant forests to fix the planet. Again seeds will be a commodity but not as valuable as you think, I mean wheres jerky on this list? I think your compiling this list with the thought of the apocalypse being several decades behind us as humanity tries to pull itself together again. Honey for sure because as well being a sweetener, it has its medicinal properties. Sugar without a doubt but since its purely a luxury item, why is it at number 2? The food stuffs that actually contain sugar like chocolate bars will be much higher on the list. Salt is my personal preference for number 1 but it would simply not be so. Its not the only way to dehydrate meat. But without guns and bullets how much meat do you think people will need to dehydrate? Here's my list and its made with the 1st few years post apocalypse in mind:-
    10: Antihistamines/asthema inhalers
    9: Guns
    8: Painkillers
    7: Petrol
    6: Spark plugs/replacement parts
    5: Working lighters/matches
    4: Alcohol
    3: Bullets
    2: Ice
    1: Antibiotics
    I rated this primarily on how portable things are coupled with how needed and how luxurious they are. 10 is where it is because weaknesses dies off fast. 9 because its much needed security. 8 because EVERYONE will need them at some point in time. 7 because there will still likely be generators and engines that work. 6 because there will likely be generators and engines that don't work. 5 goes without saying. 4 you mentioned, I just think you slightly underestimated the demand not just as an antiseptic but to escape the harsh reality. Bullets I already mentioned but they are small and just 1 of them could stand between you and death. 2 because again, they'll probably still be genies and I think as a luxury, it surpasses sugar. Its water with a bonus. The amount people would pay for ice would be massive. 1 do I really need to explain? But as a bonus pre-cured meat, I just couldn't figure out where to fit that in.

  11. So no toiletries? No soap or sanitation supplies? Well, I guess a lot of folks are gonna die from illness and infections.

  12. I feel prostitutes and tobacco maybe should have been on this list. I guess maybe the tobacco you could put on the seeds list to grow tobacco but definitely prostitutes

  13. My top 10 would be
    Weapons (both guns and bows, especially bows)
    Activated carbon
    Clean water/water purification
    Blades (knives, axes, machetes)
    Medical items (especially painkillers)
    And the most valuable of all: knowledge. Being able to fix broken machinery, metal work, wood work, rope making, forging, alcohol production, medical care, being able to produce opium/drugs, hunting, trapping the list goes on.

  14. Guns, Ammo, Gasoline, Propane, Cigarettes, Batteries, Soap, Amateur Radios or Walkie-Talkies, Marijuana, Opiates, Pharmaceuticals, Butane Lighters, Multi-Tools, Fishing Gear, Duct Tape, Razor Blades.

  15. Medicines? Water? Guns and ammo? To your point, you cant sow seeds if you're dead and a peaceful post apocalyptic society is naive given humans track record

  16. #7, Books.

    If books (and libraries and archives) are veritable treasure troves, you 'd better convince the policy wonks, politicians, administrators, and their enablers and sycophants, etc. that they are wrong. I know because I have been involved in the downsizings or closures of four libraries, and laid off from two library jobs.. The argument is always the same:

    Libraries are expensive anachronisms of a bygone era because everything is available for free on the internet, not withstanding the copyright and intellectual property laws. If you need something and your local library does not have it in-house, you can get it through interlibrary loan, you can find an acceptable, if imperfect, substitute, you can get it yourself on your own dime, or you'll do without.

    Like it or not, that's how policy wonks, politicians, administrators, etc. truly regard the value of traditional books, libraries, and archives. It was written in one letter of my termination and said to me in an exit interview just a few short years ago. It applies to libraries regardless of type, special, public, research/academic.

    Monastic orders keep their libraries and archives but they are in the business of preserving their culture. Not so to the politicians and their fellow travelers. If that isn't bad enough — destruction of the culture — consider this: If you disagree with those people, they'll find someway or invent someway to make you suffer especially if they have more power than you have.

  17. Rain water tank to gather water. OR. a means of taking dirty water and making it clean and drinkable. The body needs 2L of drinking water a day, and more for cooking and hygiene.

  18. This is a very dumb channel go unsubscribe. salt is the number 1? what the hell? u can make salt by boiling sea water. number 1 is clean fresh water idiots.

  19. Ammunition is the only resource that can allow you to take all others and stop others from taking your resource. To those who are going to say knife , how many knives are in a kitchen..everyone will have a knife and at 30+ feet a gun always wins. Anyone without a loaded gun won't stand a chance.

  20. I was really up for this list, until you got to babies. Disappointed, to say the least, and I'm a big fan of this site.

  21. Sugar and Salt make sense. But with many of the others you're overlooking a key requirement of currency: to be easily portable.

    Perhaps sewing kits, arrow heads, flint & steel would be useful trade items… But don't kid yourselves thinking you'll be carrying several entire bee hives around with you.

  22. Anything that resulted in world-wide mass casualties is going to mean there are shoes laying around in stores and homes for decades.

  23. what might be interesting here is how world chef Gordan Ramsey rubbishes people who eat canned food obviously oblivious to the hunger and deprivations of our time in many countries…….and for those thinkers around the world I would suggest trying out the survival products to see if they actually work properly before the world disaster as I tested some products that were DISMALL and would give you a mentally depressive state of misery if you were relying on them in the time of your greatest need……out

  24. Actually I believe the best thing to get to be "rich" in a post apocalyptic world is medicine. Specifically antibiotics and painkillers. People may not need them currently, but will want them for future injuries.

  25. DORITOS!!!! If civilization collapses and nobody is making Doritos any more, those with stockpiles will be KINGS… or dead.

  26. Besides confusing currency from commodity and even if they are the same thing, it's still a bad list especially account for the more valuable than gold part. Candles are easy to make. You can make them out of anything, even human meat. This makes them have a low value in bartering. And it's post apocalypse not back to the stone ages. You can still scavenge for goods. Salt and sugar can be "farmed" as well as honey and seeds. Alcohol can be manufactured as well as knives and shoes. Books can be reprinted. There are a lot of things like medicines that should be in this list.

  27. Alcohol
    Insulin, pain meds, really any meds
    Quality clothing
    Fishing gear

  28. Most people are still just thinking in the short term. Like yarn and textiles? Clothes wear out. And how tf do I spin cotton or wool into yarn without electricity. Also, medications? They expire. Why the heck would would I need your 15 yr old Tylenol?

    I guess what I want to know is how do I, a 28 yr old, live til I'm 60 in a post apoccolyptic world? Everything I see and read is just about the first few weeks and years. I'm learning and stocking up. Hopefully won't die within the first 3/4 years. Now, what?

    Any helpful links would be appreciated

  29. you forgot peppercorns! At one time the Roman Empire peppercorns were literally worth their weight in gold! They literally offered the troops would you rather be paid in Pepper or gold? A lot of the times they took the pepper.

  30. If it is a shoot'em up across the desert I can see ammo being more important than guns, have all the guns you want, they're just expensive and un-ergonomic club without the lead to throw lol

  31. If you honestly believe this fool you won't live long.

    #1 is firearms those who have the guns can take what they want whether food, water, clothing, or anything else this idiot stated.

    #2 Bullets you need ammunition for for the firearms so in reality bullets would be worth more than gold.

    #3 Water most likely after an apocalypse the water companies and wastewater treatment plants are going to be out of commission. Fresh water will be scarce and a person can only live 3-4 days without water. Therefore fresh water would be worth more than gold.

    #5 Food again this is what people need to live but I do agree with this idiot if you can grow food all the better.

  32. @8:55 Great video but I'll take a gang and me controlling the biggest fresh water well near the biggest population.

  33. Never ever ever ever sell your guns and ammo post apocalypse!!!! Ammo will be depleted fast through animal and people killing.Those who wouldnt have guns and ammo should better hide until global supplies of ammo are depleted!! The temporary deadly advantage of guns and ammo will rule post apocalypse for the begiining days of this hell.

  34. Children?
    Hmm. I was wrong yesterday.
    You're not an idiot.
    I suspect now that you're a sex offender, in any terms of anyone who would consider a child as a barter item… you'd better hide in an appocalyse in my neighborhood.

  35. This needs to be updated. Add how much salt a person needs per year. But this list depends on your location on Earth…

  36. How is this video not him just saying "literally any that has any use at all". In a post apocalyptic world, gold is nothing but a useless, heavy, soft metal. Sure today it has use as a conductor for electronics, uses in chemistry and some other special equipment, but in a world without modern tech, it's just shiny and weighs you down, even silver has medical uses. Even literal crap would be worth more than gold, it has uses in agriculture.

  37. It will be those who are old enough to basically keep up but to young to resist that will be the most trade able. Children 2:17 will be the dark currency of a post apocalyptic world.

  38. Obviously you assumed that working guns and ammo would be by default one of the most important things so you simply took that for granted and created your list.

  39. no matter which of the above items you have, unless you can protect them, you don't have them, hence guns and ammo at the top of the list.

  40. I look at the list from basic human needs
    Shelter 3 hours of exposure will kill you
    Water. 3 days dehydration will kill you
    Food 3 weeks starvation will kill you
    Skills. Most underrated, from medical to ditch digging, work =trade
    Fire. Fire and light making materials
    Weapons in a world gone crazy , you better be armed
    Everything else falls into one of these categories.

  41. Number one is Water! This idoit didn't have water on his list how absurd, none of the things on your list exist without water.

  42. You left out batteries! Common aa alkaline batteries, 9 volt batteries, 18650 batteries, etc. run everything high tek. Even solar chargers for devices will be valuable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *