A Complete Guide to IRA Approved Precious Metals Coins

Every time the stock market changes due to certain pressures on the economy or other potential financial challenges, many investors turn to more stable investment options like buying gold, silver or other precious metals.

Many individuals have a retirement IRA that they intend to use when they finally have a chance to retire and live out their dreams of having a relaxed and comfortable golden years situation. More financial and investment experts are urging people to invest in precious gold, silver and other metal using this option to increase the amount of savings that an IRA can bring.

Not All Precious Metal Products Can Be Deposited into a Retirement Account

Things have dramatically changed though from just a few years ago, and the IRS and other government related oversight entities have included more selections on what form of asset can be used for self-directed IRAs.

The IRS and Related Financial Agencies and Investment Firms Must Follow Strict IRA Rules

There are strict guidelines and requirements when funding an IRA investment account plan. Many investors turn to more stable and secure investments when the stock market decreases and/or when other economic signs of distress occur.

Many turn to precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium, and this is becoming a smart trend that can pay back by helping to ensure stability and even growth in investment savings.

What Everyone Should Know About Precious Metal IRAs

The big thing to know and heed is that precious metals must meet strict and very specific IRS requirements for getting approved for IRA use. These requirements include minimum fineness specifics for each being considered precious metal product.

Overview of How Precious Metals Can Be Invested Today with Self-Directed IRAs

In the past, the IRS did not allow precious metal products, except the American eagle gold or silver coins, to be deposited into an IRA. However, times have changed mostly due to a new Taxpayer Relief Act announced in 1997. This act expanded the types of precious metal products that could be added to an IRA retirement that is self-directed.

Current IRS Regulations That Changed with 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act

Today, an IRA may contain U.S. gold coins in the amounts of one, one-half, one-quarter and/or one-tenth ounce gold coin products. The Act also included allowable one ounce silver coins that have been minted by the United States Treasury Department.

This act also included some additional foreign coins making it easier to find suitable precious metal products that can be used in an IRA retirement account.

Which Precious Metals May Be Used in IRAs Now?

  • Gold – must be 99.5 percent pure
  • Silver – must be 99.9 percent pure
  • Platinum – must be 99.95 percent pure
  • Palladium – must be 99.95 percent pure

Other Considerations for IRS Allowable Precious Metal IRAs

Allowable precious metal coins, rounds and bars must be produced by a reputable assayer, manufacturer or refiner that is already certified, credited and approved by specific government and/or IRS approved entities.

These approved entities include:

  • LME
  • IBMA
  • ISO 9000
  • LPPM

In addition, certain precious metal products must be produced by a national government official mint and meet other minimum fineness specifics to be a valid and approved precious metal product for use in self-directed IRAs.

Understanding Precise Manufacturing & Weight Specifications for Precious Metal IRAs

Certain precious metal products must be precisely manufactured to meet the exact weight specifications to be considered a valid IRA approved product. This includes small gold or silver bullion bars along with specific platinum and palladium products with some exceptions.

Allowable proof coins must be in the original, mint encapsulated packaging, and the packaging must be complete and whole. The products and packaging both need to be in excellent shape and condition. These proof coins must also include the correct certificate of authenticity.

Each non-proof (bullion) allowable coin must be free from any damage. These coins must also be in an uncirculated and brilliant or topnotch condition to meet the strict IRS approval requirements.

Glossary and Current List of IRS Approved Coins

At the present time, the IRS does approve of selected coins of gold, silver and other precious metals for IRA self-directed retirement accounts. It is crucial to understand and know these approved coins ahead of time if wanting them to be deposited into an IRA plan.

Example List for IRA Approved Gold Products

  • American Eagle proof coins and/or bullion
  • Australian Kangaroo Gold nugget coins or bullion
  • Australian Lunar Series coins
  • Australian Philharmonic coins or bullion
  • Chinese Gold Panda coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coins
  • British Britannia Gold coins .9999 only from year 2013 and newer
  • U.S. Buffalo Gold coins or bullion also termed American Buffalo Gold coins or bullion
  • Credit Suisse – PAMP Gold bars or limited variety of Gold Bars .995 and/or Gold Rounds

Note: Other Gold Products may be allowed if they meet specific requirements for fineness as detailed above.

Example List for IRA Approved Silver Products

  • American Eagle Silver proof coins and/or bullion
  • Australian Silver Koala coins
  • Australian Silver Kookaburra coins
  • Austrian Vienna Philharmonic Silver coins
  • America the Beautiful Silver coins
  • Chinese Panda Silver coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coins
  • British Britannia Silver coins only .999 Silver
  • Mexican Libertad Silver coins or bullion
  • Proof American Eagle Silver coins
  • South African Silver Krugerrand coins
  • Other Various Silver Bars .999 or coins

Example List for IRA Approved Palladium Products

  • A Variety of Different Palladium Rounds or Bars .9995
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Palladium coins

Note: There are other different palladium bars and rounds allowable if above mentioned palladium fineness requirements are met.

Example List for IRA Approved Platinum Products

  • Proof American Eagle Platinum coins
  • Australian Platinum Koala coins or bullion
  • American Eagle Platinum coins or bullion
  • Isle of Man Noble Platinum coins or bullion
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Platinum coins or bullion
  • Variety of Other Platinum rounds or bars .9995

Note: There may be other different platinum products that will need to meet specific above-mentioned fineness requirements to be eligible.

List of Coins That Are Non-Allowable by IRS at Present Time

There are certain precious metal products that are currently not approved for use in a precious metals IRA. These include certain rare and collectible coins even if they are certified or graded for quality and fineness.

Current List of Precious Metals Not Yet Allowed for IRA Accounts

  • Austrian Corona and/or Ducat precious metal coins
  • U.S. Buffalo Proof some not accepted
  • Belgium 20 Frank
  • Dutch 10 Guilder
  • Certain British Britannia Gold and Silver coins minted prior to 2013
  • German Mark
  • French Franc
  • Chilian 100 Peso
  • Italian 20 Lira
  • Mexican 50 Peso
  • British Sovereign
  • Columbia Peso
  • U.S. Liberty
  • Swiss 20 Franc
  • Specific South African Krugerrand
  • Hungarian 100 Korona
  • Any Rare or Collectable coins


Q: 1. What exactly is an allowable precious metal IRA?

A: Investors can setup a self-directed IRA, or individual retirement account, using a broader range of assets that are valuable but unconventional in nature. These uncommon assets used in IRAs today include crypto currencies, gold, silver and other precious metals or real estate holdings among other products. The key element to remember about precious metals for investment is that each product must meet strict requirements to be approved for this sort of investment venture.

Q: 2. Why do some people use precious metals in their retirement accounts?

A: There are several parts to this answer that follow below.

*Gold, silver and other precious metal products have been considered valuable since ancient civilization eras. These valuable metals tend to remain valuable and are most likely to increase in value when other economic crises develop like wars, collapse of the government paper currency and so forth.

*Successful investors believe gold and other coveted precious metals provide a safety hedge of protection against some of those unwanted financial catastrophes.

*Gold and silver are easy-to-carry, are recognized worldwide as being a valuable commodity, can be exchanged or traded for other needed services and products and will better withstand environmental concerns like a fire, earthquake or other significant and destructive weather event.

Q: 3. What are the benefits of adding gold or other precious metals to your IRA?

A: Gold and other valuable metals can be a terrific method for safeguarding other investments that might suddenly drop in value making investors panic. Precious metal IRAs allow the investor to take advantage of tax-effective and efficient benefit dome of protection over your assets that are more likely to increase overall wealth over a long-term period.

Q: 4. What are the current standards the IRS sets for precious metals IRAs?

A: Each precious metal product must meet the level of fineness expectation requirements per exact manufactured weight specifics on certain products. There are also rules on only using the products from an approved by IRS company. At the present date, most collectible coins and other tangible investment products cannot be stored in a private home.

Q: 5. How much precious metals should be invested into your total retirement IRA savings?

A: Most successful investment professionals recommend limiting your precious metal contribution to a self-directed IRA at about 5% to 10% or so. This amount will vary depending on each person’s unique financial situation.

*The goal is to have a well-diversified retirement investment portfolio, and the gold or other valued metal can act as a protective asset in case of other investments losing their value unexpectedly and swiftly. Having your IRA plan assessed by a professional investment specialist is the best way to determine how much and what type of precious metal product you should acquire and invest.

Q: 6. Are there any downsides to opening an IRA approved Precious Metal Account?

A: Everyone should carefully consider the pros and cons of making any type of large investment like buying gold or silver products to deposit into an IRA that is a self-directed type.

*In general, purchasing precious metals may be more expensive than other forms of investment due to the need to store the gold or other precious metal in a safe and approved storage space that costs money to maintain.

*There are also other IRA related fees that can include the necessary physical asset storage fees, startup costs for opening an IRA account that is self-directed, transaction fees and custodial fees.

Q: 6. What is the process for opening a precious metal IRA?

A: This process takes a bit more time to get started than traditional IRAs do.

Here is what you will need to do.

*1. Choose an Appropriate Self-Directed IRA Custodian

This is needed as your chosen custodian will be the one holding your IRA. These custodians can be a trust company, a bank or other IRA approved entities.

*2. Select Your Preferred Dealer of Precious Metals

You will need to authorize your above chosen custodian to direct funds to your selected dealer to purchase your desired precious metals. It is important to research and find a credible dealer that has a long and excellent business reputation and a high customer service record in this investment industry.

Special Note: There are online scams that can trick people into making poor investment decisions. These nefarious actors will even outright defraud vulnerable potential precious metal consumers by stealing their money or identity through gaining your personal financial and other important identifying details.

*3. Determine Which Products to Purchase & Choose a Safe Depository

Finish up the transaction with your selected custodian.

Final Thoughts:

People who have a strong and diversified investment portfolio are going to benefit the most by opening a precious metal IRA. If unsure if this investment option is right for you now or in the future, it is wise to seek some professional advice from an investment and/or financial expert who has extensive and current knowledge of this investment process.

Opening a precious metal IRA can provide individuals peace-of-mind regarding the safety and security of their investment savings and accrued wealth. IRA approved precious metal coins and other products are the wave of the future and has been proven successful by its roots planted thousands of years ago. In times past, affluent individuals collected gold, silver and valuable gemstones to have the comfortable lifestyle that they desired. Consider opening a precious metal self-directed IRA soon.

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