This has been a topic I have discussed with some like minded people at work. Several said they were already converting to silver and such. The items we perceive as having value now are based on historic significance, current trends, cultural heritage, and social position. Ever watch Pickers, I see them buy things I think is just junk and would not think twice but to throw away.
If I had know my Star Wars lunch box would have been worth $250, $300 with the thermos I would have taken better care of it. You know what they say though one mans trash another mans treasure. Funny, today was trash day in my area I did something I have not done since I was a kid, I stopped and took a fishing pole out of someones refuse can. It was a perfectly good Zebco, still had the price tag on it and the slip ties over the real. To each his own.
I agree with BigDukeSix,what will be really valuable the second after a SHTF moment will be items we need to survive, over time as things settle and stabilize people will begin to miss the things they had and trade for something that invokes an emotion a luxury item.
In the movie Water World it was paper any kind of paper, no one could read, but it reminded people of a different time. Who know what those things will be valuable five or ten years from now after a SHTF scenario, you can only guess an MP3 player, a piece of candy etc... What good is gold or silver, diamonds, ruby's or pearls in a world that may not remember why they were valuable in the first place, or a world thirsting or starving to death. Right after Katrina when volunteer's started bringing in water and food, anyone there would have given you a wedding ring, a watch, a car, just about anything for some fresh water, hot food, and clean clothes. Not to mention some ATM's and local banks were unavailable for weeks even if you had money you could not get to it, bartering was the trade of the day.
I think a bucket of freeze dried food would be a good thing to have in storage, I personally prefer MRE's so I could use the freeze dried as currency and since it is a lot less than MRE's it may be a good investment. Worse case is I would actually have to eat it in 20 years. Who knows what food prices will be in 20 years? Anyway doesn't look like food is going down anytime soon. You could hedge your grocery bill by 20 years buying food today! Just a thought.
I also think any kind of water filtration device and water purification tablets would make good stores for barter currency.
Geared Up and Ready to Go