Gold and Silver have a strong history as money. They have not been used as currency for many years. They are now traded as commodities. But, gold will always have value. The USD is debased by a target of 2% per year. So if you keep cash you will lose at least that much per year. Gold is an “investment”. But, it often runs counter to the market. When the market does will gold will underperform. The market will beat gold. Basically, the idea of investing in gold is to give you liquidity during turbulent times. The downside of gold is that transaction fees are often very high. 10-15% spreads are normal maybe more? I do not believe in gold backed ETFs. But, some people like them. Physical gold is also a risk, because of the theft risk. Gold is basically cash. You can take it to any dealer and exchange it for dollars. Very hard to trace. Can also be melted down. The fact is the world you are talking about does exist. In Asia and the middle east gold jewlery is still a common store of wealth. And, people do use it today to escape from war zones ect. The great thing about gold is if you do bury in the backyard it will not decay. It will pretty much look the same if you dig it up 40 years from now. And, if you die before you dig it up someone else will get great joy from it :).