"bartering only works when all parties have something the other party needs. when that is not the case, and both parties have different needs and different things to trade then the bartering economy collapses..."
Which is why I have dried fruits, meats, cornmeal, spices, milk etc. I have enough variety that I'll have plenty of options for trade.
Yes, money is a cool little invention. Money is accepted when other needs (food, clothing and shelter) are secured. Who wants shiny little trinkets when people are cold and starving?
Money also goes hand-in-hand with government. Government provides a certain amount of stability and security to its populace such that people feel comfortable accepting shiny coins in exchange for items of necessity. When that government breaks down, people are more hesitant to accept the shiny things when items of basic survival might not be available.
Bottom line: investing in precious metals is speculative investing. You're speculating the value will increase, thereby providing a profit some time in the future. If there are no governments and markets, speculative investing becomes even more dicey. Maybe the guy with the generator parts won't want silver either. Maybe he'll want some tools or gasoline. The guy with only silver to trade may have to do a lot of hunting around and close a lot of deals to get what he ultimately wants. With various foodstuffs in my supply and an uncertain world, I won't have to go very far to cut a deal. Without stable government and retail environments, everyone will have multiple needs; there will always be other options than metals, so why not put the money toward a guaranteed, universal need?
But hey, if people are dead-set on a silver-first attitude, I won't stand in their way. It's your choice. It's possible we're both right, but with limited fund I choose not to speculate but go for the sure thing. But...