Please note: This might seem like a over-simple question, but I do believe its on topic, and it is certainly not a duplicate. In fact, I can't find a credible answer to this question anywhere on the internet. So I think, as simple as it is, it deserves an answer here!
Throughout my life I've heard over and over again that gold and silver are the foundations of our entire paper note-based monetary system. Its very common for people to invest in and buy gold and silver bullion (coins or bars) to keep in case of a rainy day.
I was listening to someone speak recently and they were talking about how they had a decent store of silver bars for such a rainy day. And my first thought was hey that's smart. But then my second though was: why? Why is that smart?
Then I thought, well, how would someone convert bullion (again: gold/silver, bars/coins) back into money when in need?
So I went to consult the Google Gods, and asked them: how do you sell silver bullion?" and, unless my Google Fu is particularly weak, it seems that the only places where you can buy/sell bullion is: antique coin dealerships.
Am I missing something?! I would have expected to be able to walk into any bank with legitimate gold/silver, and make an even trade based on their price point at the current time. But no, it appears that you need to find a local coin dealer and go to them. Am I missing something?! Isn't that strange?
So you invest in bullion (invest is the keyword; the intent is to have your purchase be worth something that you can capitalize on at a later time), but you can't take it to a bank and get money for it, you have to take it to Big Larry, your local coin dealer who operates out of a dimly-lit office on the side of a used car dealership. Big Larry somehow makes a business out of this, but the trail seems to run cold when the bullion gets to him.
Who do the coin dealers sell the bullion to? Are there any other credible/legitimate/trustworthy places you can turn to to sell bullion, like banks, or even local branches of the federal reserve (!!!) ? Why do I get the feeling that my whole life, every time I see someone buying bullion, that they're really just falling prey to some hoax/scheme?