Originally Posted by FIREdreamer
I've heard that historically, people have also used diamonds to carry their wealth accross borders when bad times arose. With diamonds, your life savings can fit in your pocket, and as for gold, the value of a diamond is universally recognized.
About 20 years ago, the was a book called "The Rise and Fall of Diamonds". A good read for those who think that diamonds are a convenient substitute for gold.
The problems with diamonds include subjective and arcane grading systems, the inability of the typical investor to verify diamond grading, and huge buy-sell spreads in anything except the professional markets.
If you are a professional diamond merchant, they make sense as an alternative to gold. For the rest of us, fugeddaboutit.
On gold, it seems to me that there are better ways to hedge or diversify your portfolio than gold. But for an "End of the World as We Know It" scenario, it makes some sense.