Why Preppers Hoard Nickels: A Smart Investment Strategy

Are you familiar with preppers? These are people who are always ready for a disaster to happen. They’re the ones who stockpile food, water, and other necessities in their basements or bunkers. But have you heard about the preppers who hoard nickels? Yes, you read that right – nickels, those five-cent coins that you often overlook.

At first glance, it might seem odd that preppers would obsess over nickels. After all, they’re not even worth a dime, literally. But what you may not know is that the metallic composition of a nickel has changed over the years. Prior to 1942, nickels contained 75% copper and 25% nickel. But during World War II, nickel became a valuable resource, so the US Mint replaced much of the nickel with silver – making the “War Nickels” worth more than their face value.

So why do preppers hoard nickels? The answer is simple – inflation. Many enthusiasts believe that if the economy takes a nosedive and paper money loses its value, nickels will still retain their purchasing power. In fact, with the current metal composition, a nickel is already worth more than its currency value. As of 2021, the value of the metal in a nickel is around 7.7 cents, which means that collectors and investors alike see the potential in hoarding these little coins.

Introduction to Prepping and Hoarding Culture

Preppers and hoarders are two groups of people that you may or may not have heard of before. They are often talked about in the media as being a bit extreme, but they each have their own reasons for why they do what they do.

Prepping, or preparing for a disaster or emergency situation, can take many different forms. Some people stock up on non-perishable food and water, others have a bug-out-bag ready at all times, and still others have built their own off-grid homesteads to live entirely self-sufficiently. The reasons why people prep are varied, but often include a desire to be prepared for anything and everything, or a distrust in the government’s ability to handle disasters.

Hoarders, on the other hand, tend to collect objects or materials that they deem useful or valuable. This often includes stockpiling food or other items that are frequently used in daily life. The reason why hoarders do what they do is somewhat less clear than preppers, but often stems from anxiety or a general sense of insecurity.

Why Preppers Hoard Nickels

  • Nickels are made of metal: Nickels, unlike other coins, are made of a combination of copper and nickel. This means that, in addition to their monetary value, they can be melted down and turned into other items. In a post-apocalyptic or emergency scenario, having access to a supply of usable metal could be incredibly valuable.
  • Nickels are cheap: Currently, nickels are worth five cents each, but the value of the metal they are made of is worth more than that. This means that, at any given time, you can stock up on a large amount of nickels without spending too much money.
  • Government cannot easily take them back: Unlike paper money or digital currency, physical coins are difficult to confiscate. If you have a stockpile of nickels, they cannot be taken from you easily, even in times of crisis.

The Risks and Benefits of Prepping and Hoarding

Prepping and hoarding can have both benefits and risks. On the one hand, being prepared for a disaster or emergency can provide peace of mind and possibly even save lives. At the same time, focusing too much on worst-case scenarios can lead to isolation, anxiety, and unnecessary stress. Similarly, hoarding can provide a sense of security and safety, but also leads to clutter and potentially hazardous living conditions.

What We Can Learn from Preppers and Hoarders

Regardless of what you think about prepping and hoarding, it’s clear that there is something to learn from both groups. Preppers teach us the value of being prepared and self-sufficient, while hoarders remind us that we often attach emotional significance to material possessions. The key, as always, is finding balance.

Prepping Hoarders
Prepping can create a sense of community and bring people together over a shared goal. Hoarding often leads to isolation and secrecy about the hoarder’s possessions.
Prepping teaches valuable skills like gardening, food preservation, and first aid. Hoarding can lead to cluttered and potentially hazardous living conditions.
Prepping can provide peace of mind and a sense of security in times of crisis. Hoarding can lead to emotional distress and a lack of functionality in daily life.

Both prepping and hoarding are often seen as extreme behaviors, but they can provide valuable insights into what it means to be self-sufficient and ready for anything. Whether you’re a seasoned prepper or simply interested in learning more about these cultural phenomena, understanding the motivations and practices of preppers and hoarders can be a useful exercise in preparing for the future.

Reasons for Preppers to Hoard Nickels in Particular

Preppers have been known to hoard valuable commodities such as gold, silver, and currency as a way of protecting themselves against economic collapse and other catastrophic events. However, among all the forms of currency, nickels have become a significant consideration for preppers. Here are some reasons why:

  • Higher metal content: Unlike other forms of currency, nickels are composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel. With the increasing value of copper, the nickel’s intrinsic value is now higher than its face value. Preppers view this as an opportunity to preserve and increase their wealth, especially in uncertain economic times.
  • Easy to obtain: As the smallest coin denomination, nickels are often overlooked and disregarded, making them easier to acquire in larger quantities than other coins such as quarters or half-dollars. Furthermore, preppers can purchase rolls of nickels from banks at face value without arousing suspicion, unlike buying significant amounts of gold or silver.
  • Durable: Unlike paper currency, nickels are immune to degradation from water, fire, or other environmental factors. They have a long lifespan and can resist wear and tear, making them a reliable store of value. With the proper storage conditions, nickels can last for decades or even centuries.

In summary, nickels have become a valuable investment for preppers for their high metal content, ease of acquisition, and durability. While they may not offer the same level of liquidity as other forms of currency, preppers see them as a viable option for a long-term store of value to weather any economic storm that may come their way.


The decision to hoard nickels ultimately comes downs to the individual’s strategy for disaster preparedness. While it’s essential to consider all options, including precious metals and traditional currency, preppers may find that accumulating nickels could be a smart choice in diversifying their investments and preserving their wealth.

Pros Cons
High metal content Limited liquidity
Easy to obtain Requires storage space
Durable and long-lasting May not hold value in hyperinflation

Ultimately, regardless of your investment choice, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and have a well-thought-out emergency plan in place. Prepping and investing in other forms of security such as food, water, and medical supplies can also help ensure survival in the face of catastrophe.

History of the Nickel and its Value

The United States nickel, also known as the “five-cent piece,” has an interesting history dating back to its inception in 1866. Originally, the coin was made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel, however, due to the increasing cost of nickel, the composition was changed to 75% copper and only 25% nickel in 1867. The images on the nickel have also evolved over time, featuring historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Monticello, the U.S. Capitol, and the iconic American bison.

Despite its modest face value, the nickel has held significant value throughout US history. During World War II, nickels were made out of 35% silver due to the shortage of metals needed for weapons. As a result, people began hoarding the coins, and the government was forced to remove the silver from nickels in 1946. Today, some collectors search for these rare wartime nickels, hoping to add them to their collections.

Reasons Why Preppers Hoard Nickels

  • Durability: Due to the nickel’s composition, it is resistant to corrosion and oxidation, making it a durable metal that can withstand the test of time. In contrast, paper currency and even some precious metals are susceptible to damage and decay.
  • Inflation: As inflation continues to rise, the value of currency decreases. However, because the metal in nickels is worth more than their face value, some preppers believe that storing nickels long-term will protect them from inflation.
  • Scarcity: Nickels are not as commonly hoarded as other coins, such as pennies or silver dollars, which can make them a more scarce item in the future. This scarcity could lead to an increase in collector’s value or even melt value.

The Value of Nickels Today

Currently, the metal value of a nickel exceeds its face value. Based on current metal prices, each nickel contains about 4.5 cents worth of metal. This has led some preppers to hoard nickels as a way to preserve their wealth in a tangible, non-perishable form. Additionally, some dealers offer pre-1965 Jefferson nickels at a 20% discount to melt value, which has led some collectors and investors to stock up on these coins.

Nickel Composition Year Metal Composition Metal Value per Nickel
1866 – 1867 25% nickel, 75% copper $0.0594
1868 – 1942 25% nickel, 75% copper $0.0449
1942 – 1945 35% silver, 56% copper, 9% manganese $1.61
1946 – Present 25% nickel, 75% copper $0.0449

Ultimately, the decision to hoard nickels as a prepper is a personal one. While the metal in nickels does hold value, it may not be the best investment option for everyone. However, understanding the history and value of the United States nickel can provide insight into the motivations behind why some people choose to stock up on them.

Analysis of the intrinsic and numismatic values of nickels

Preppers have a good reason for hoarding nickels – they are a great investment in both the intrinsic and numismatic values. Here’s an in-depth look at their values:

  • Intrinsic Value: The intrinsic value of a nickel is based on the metal content of the coin itself. Nickels, made from a combination of copper and nickel, have an intrinsic value that fluctuates with the price of these metals. Currently, the intrinsic value of a nickel is around 4 cents, which is higher than the face value of the coin. Hoarding nickels allows preppers to stockpile metal that has value in case of a currency collapse or other economic crisis.
  • Numismatic Value: The numismatic value of a nickel is dependent on the coin’s rarity, condition, age, and historical significance. Some nickels, such as the 1943 wartime nickel made of silver, can be worth significantly more than their face value due to their scarcity and historical value. Preppers who hoard nickels can potentially benefit from the numismatic value of certain coins in their collection.

It’s important to note that not all nickels have significant numismatic value. The majority of nickels in circulation today are worth their face value or slightly above their intrinsic value. It takes a trained eye and some research to determine which nickels have numismatic value and which do not.

Here is a breakdown of the intrinsic and numismatic values of different types of nickels:

Nickel Type Intrinsic Value Numismatic Value
Regular Circulation Nickel 4 cents Face value or slightly above intrinsic value
Pre-1965 Silver Wartime Nickel Based on silver content Potentially worth significantly more than face value due to rarity and historical significance
1966-2007 Nickel 4 cents No significant numismatic value as of now

While nickels might seem like a small investment, their intrinsic and numismatic values make them a worthwhile addition to any prepper’s stockpile. By hoarding nickels, preppers can have access to a valuable metal in case of an economic crisis, and potentially benefit from the unique numismatic value of certain coins in their collection.

Economic and political factors behind preppers’ decision to hoard nickels

Preppers are individuals who prepare for catastrophic events that may take place in the future. One item that they often hoard is the nickel. This may seem like an unusual choice, but it is driven by several economic and political factors.

  • Inflation Protection: The value of money has been steadily decreasing due to inflation. Preppers hoard nickels because they contain metal that has a higher intrinsic value than their face value. The current cost to produce a nickel is around 7.5 cents, meaning the metal in the coin is actually worth more than the face value. Therefore, if inflation continues to increase, hoarding nickels could prove to be a smart investment as the value of the metal increases.
  • Currency Devaluation: In recent years, there has been speculation that the US dollar may lose its status as the world’s reserve currency. If this were to happen, it could cause the value of the dollar to plummet. Preppers view nickels as a form of alternative currency that can be exchanged for goods and services if the US dollar were to lose value.
  • Metal Shortages: Nickel is a vital component in the manufacturing of industrial products. With the increasing demand for electronics and other products that require metal, there is a possibility that the supply of nickel may become scarce. By hoarding nickels, preppers can safeguard against metal shortages and have a valuable commodity in their possession.

These are some of the main economic and political factors that have influenced preppers to hoard nickels. While it may seem like an odd choice, hoarding nickels could prove to be a smart decision in the event of an economic crisis.

It’s important to note that the act of hoarding nickels is not illegal, but it is important to make sure that hoarding coins does not lead to illegal activities such as counterfeiting or melting. It’s important to store coins properly and safely to ensure they retain their value.

Overall, preppers have a range of reasons for hoarding nickels, from safeguarding against inflation to currency devaluation, to protecting against metal shortages. While it may not be the most conventional form of investing, hoarding nickels could prove to be a valuable asset in the face of uncertain economic and political times.

Comparing the benefits and drawbacks of hoarding nickels versus other metals or currencies

While preppers often choose to hoard nickels due to their low denomination and high potential for future value, other metals and currencies may also offer advantages and disadvantages to consider. Here are some key comparisons:

  • Nickels vs. pennies: While both coins have a low denomination and potential for future value, nickels are made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, whereas pennies are made of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. This means that nickels have more inherent value in their metal composition.
  • Nickels vs. silver: Silver is a popular choice for preppers due to its historic value and usefulness in bartering. However, silver can be more expensive to acquire and store compared to nickels. Additionally, silver may not hold its value as well during economic downturns or crises.
  • Nickels vs. gold: Gold is another coveted precious metal, but it is even more expensive than silver and may not be as practical for everyday transactions. Additionally, the value of gold may fluctuate greatly during economic upheavals, making it a riskier investment for preppers.

Overall, while other metals and currencies may have their own advantages and drawbacks, hoarding nickels is a relatively low-risk and accessible option for preppers. However, it is important to remember that no investment or hoarding strategy is foolproof, and diversification is key to protecting one’s assets in uncertain times.

For a more detailed comparison, consider the following table:

Comparison Nickels Pennies Silver Gold
Denomination Low Low Varies High
Metal Composition 75% copper, 25% nickel 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper Pure silver Pure gold
Potential for Future Value High High High High
Accessibility and Cost Low cost, easily accessible Low cost, easily accessible Higher cost, may require specialized dealers Very high cost, may require specialized dealers
Practicality for Everyday Transactions Viable option for small transactions Viable option for small transactions May be less practical for small transactions May be less practical for small transactions
Stability during Economic Crises Relatively stable Relatively stable May fluctuate greatly May fluctuate greatly

Ultimately, the choice of whether to hoard nickels, other metals, or currencies should be based on personal circumstances and research. By considering the benefits and drawbacks of different options, preppers can make informed decisions to protect themselves and their assets in uncertain times.

The Role of Inflation in the Value of Nickels as a Hedge Against Devalued Currency

Inflation is the measure of the devaluation of a currency. When the value of the currency decreases, the cost of goods and services increases. That’s why buying power of a dollar today is less than it was compared to the same amount of money a decade ago. In other words, inflation erodes the value of your savings. However, there is one exception to the rule that can act as a hedge against devalued currency. It’s none other than the humble nickel.

  • Nickel as a Hedge Against Inflation: The price of commodities increases during inflationary times. It means that when the value of the US dollar goes down, the price of goods (like gasoline, food, or metals) goes up. Thankfully, the nickel in your pocket has a meltdown value. It means that you can sell the metal for its scrap value when the price of nickel goes up. That’s why preppers hoard nickels as a hedge against inflation.
  • Inflation and Buying Power: The citizens of every country want the government to print new money to pay for defense, health care, and other services. The trouble is that every time new money is printed, it decreases the value of the existing currency. Too much inflation can make the currency worthless. On the other hand, the purchasing power of a nickel remains intact. You can always use it to buy a candy or a bubblegum.
  • Nickel’s Intrinsic Value: A nickel is made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel. Copper is an essential metal used in many industries, including construction, motors, and electronics. The nickel acts as a hardening agent in other metals like stainless steel. Both the metals have important industrial and manufacturing uses. It makes the nickel more valuable than other fiat currencies.

Based on the above reasons, it’s easy to see why preppers hoard nickels. They are a hedge against inflation, they retain their melt-down value and intrinsic value, and they are a form of currency that retains its purchasing power.

So, if you are looking for a way to safeguard the buying power of your savings, it’s a wise decision to keep a few rolls of nickels aside. It may not make you an overnight millionaire, but it can provide a measure of security for your family’s future.

Inflationary Year Price of Nickel (per pound) Value of a Roll of Nickels (USD)
1965 1.31 2.20
1970 4.52 7.53
1980 5.51 9.18
1990 3.57 5.95
2000 2.94 4.89
2010 8.03 13.38

The table above indicates the price of nickel in an inflationary year and the value of a roll of nickels in US dollars. It’s a clear indication that the melt-down value of nickel goes up in inflationary times, making it a valuable metal to hoard.

The Impact of Technology and Changing Payment Systems on the Value of Nickels

One of the reasons why preppers hoard nickels is because they believe that the value of these coins will increase in the future. This belief is based on the assumption that the US currency will eventually experience high levels of inflation, making the metal content of nickels more valuable than the face value of the coin. However, there are several factors that could impact the value of nickels and their potential as a viable form of currency in a post-disaster world.

Here are some of the key ways that technology and changing payment systems could affect the value of nickels in the long-term:

  • Electronic payment systems could drive down demand for physical currency: As more people turn to digital forms of payment such as credit cards, mobile payments, and cryptocurrencies, there could be less demand for physical money. This could put downward pressure on the value of coins such as nickels, which may become less useful as a form of currency if fewer people are using them.
  • New printing technologies could make it easier to counterfeit coins: As printing technologies become more advanced, it may become easier for counterfeiters to produce fake coins that look like the real thing. This could reduce the value of legitimate coins such as nickels, making them less useful as a form of currency.
  • Rising metal prices could make it more expensive to produce coins: The metal content of nickels makes up a significant portion of their overall value. If the cost of metal rises significantly, it could become more expensive for the government to produce these coins. This could lead to a reduction in the supply of nickels, which could increase their value over time.

Overall, there are many complex factors that could impact the value of nickels as a form of currency in the long-term. While it is possible that hoarding nickels could be a wise strategy for preppers, it’s important to keep in mind that these coins may not always hold their value in the face of technological and economic change.

That being said, it’s also worth noting that nickel hoarding is just one small aspect of the larger prepper community. Many preppers focus on a range of other strategies, from food and water storage to self-defense and emergency planning. Whether you choose to stockpile nickels or focus on other areas of preparedness, it’s important to be proactive in planning for potential disasters and emergencies.

For those inclined to hoard nickels, here is a table detailing the metal content of some US coins:

Coin Metal Content
Nickel (5 cents) 75% copper, 25% nickel
Dime (10 cents) 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel
Quarter (25 cents) 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel

This table illustrates that nickels contain a significant amount of valuable metals compared to other US coins, which may be one reason why preppers consider them a good investment.

Issues related to storage and security of nickel hoards

Preppers often hoard nickels as a form of currency in case of a major financial crisis. However, these hoards require proper storage and security measures to prevent loss or theft. Below are some issues related to the storage and security of nickel hoards:

  • Weight and volume: Nickels are relatively heavy and bulky in large quantities, making it difficult to store and transport them. Preppers need to consider the amount of space and weight capacity they have to store their hoard.
  • Coin tubes: Coin tubes are a popular method of storing nickels, as they are durable and easy to stack. However, it’s important to label each tube with the date and quantity of nickels to avoid confusion and mistakes.
  • Safety deposit box: A safety deposit box at a bank is a secure location to store a nickel hoard. However, it’s important to keep in mind that bank hours may be limited during a crisis, making it difficult to access the hoard if needed. It’s also important to consider the cost of renting a safety deposit box.

In addition, preppers need to consider the security of their nickel hoard to prevent theft:

  • Location: A secure location to store nickel hoards is a must. The location should be known only to the prepper and trusted family members. It’s important to avoid telling anyone outside the family about the hoard.
  • Alarms: Alarms and security cameras can be installed to help deter burglars from attempting to steal the hoard. An alarm system that is monitored by a security company can be especially effective.
  • Diversification: Preppers may want to consider diversifying their hoard to include other forms of currency, such as gold and silver, to reduce the risk of theft. Burglars may be less likely to steal nickels if they think there may be other valuable items in the same location.

To help preppers keep track of their nickel hoard, a table can be used to record the quantity, date, and value of the coins:

Date Quantity Value
1/1/21 1000 $50.00
2/1/21 2000 $100.00

By addressing the issues related to the storage and security of nickel hoards, preppers can ensure their hoard remains safe and secure in case of a major financial crisis.

Legal considerations and potential challenges related to owning large quantities of nickels

While preppers consider hoarding nickels as a potential investment for disaster scenarios, there are legal considerations that come with owning large quantities of coins.

  • Counterfeiting laws: It is illegal to deface, alter or counterfeit any coin issued by the U.S. Mint. While hoarding nickels is not illegal in itself, it is important to ensure that the coins are obtained legally and do not violate any counterfeiting laws.
  • The weight and size of the coins: Storing large quantities of nickels can be cumbersome due to their weight and volume. It may become difficult to transport or store them in a safe and accessible manner.
  • Increased scrutiny: Owning large quantities of nickels may attract unwanted attention from the government or law enforcement agencies due to the potential of money laundering or tax evasion. It is important to keep detailed records of the acquisition and ownership of the coins to avoid any legal issues.

Additionally, there may be potential challenges that come with hoarding nickels as an investment in a disaster scenario.

For example, it may be difficult to exchange or sell the coins for cash during a crisis. Banks may not have the capacity to exchange a large number of coins, and other individuals may not be willing to purchase them or lack the resources to do so. It is essential to have a plan for the use and exchange of the coins during emergency situations.

Pros Cons
Low face value: Nickels have a face value of five cents but are worth more than their weight in copper. This makes them an affordable and accessible investment for preppers. Large quantities may be difficult to store: As previously mentioned, the weight and size of the coins may make it hard to store them in a safe and accessible manner.
Durable: Nickels are hard-wearing coins that can withstand significant wear and tear over time. This makes them a resilient investment for long-term emergency scenarios. Potential legal issues: The ownership and storage of large quantities of nickels may attract attention from law enforcement agencies or the government. This may lead to legal issues or increased scrutiny.
Inflation protection: Hoarding nickels can protect against inflation as their value is not tied to any currency or external factors. Difficulty in exchanging for cash: It may be hard to exchange or sell large quantities of coins for cash during a disaster scenario.

Overall, while the hoarding of nickels is a potentially viable investment for preppers, it may come with legal and logistical challenges that need to be considered. It is important to research and understand the legal implications and potential challenges of owning large quantities of coins before embarking on such an investment.

Why do preppers hoard nickels? FAQs:

1. Why nickels specifically?

Preppers hoard nickels because they are made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, which makes them a valuable commodity in case of an economic crisis.

2. Are nickels worth more than their face value?

Yes, nickels are worth more than their face value, especially for preppers. The value of the metal alone in each nickel is currently higher than the actual value of the coin.

3. Are there any restrictions on hoarding nickels?

No, there are no restrictions on hoarding nickels as it is legal to do so. However, melting them down is illegal.

4. Are there any potential risks associated with hoarding nickels?

There are no risks associated with hoarding nickels, but it is important to store them properly to prevent damage or corrosion.

5. How do preppers benefit from hoarding nickels during an economic crisis?

Preppers hoard nickels to use as a form of currency in case national currency loses its value during an economic crisis.

6. How should preppers store their nickel hoard?

Preppers should store their nickel hoard in a dry, cool, and dark place, preferably in airtight containers or coin tubes.

7. What else can preppers do with their nickel hoard?

Preppers can use their nickel hoard for bartering purposes or as a long-term investment, as the value of the metal in nickels is expected to rise over time.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to learn about why preppers hoard nickels. Remember to store them properly and use them wisely in case of an economic crisis. Stay prepared and don’t forget to check back for more informative articles.