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Types of Precious Metals That Can Be Held in an IRA

Allowable Precious Metals For Your IRA

Now that you opens in a new windowunderstand the process of purchasing precious metals through your IRA, you will need to know what types of metals can be held in an IRA.

We get a lot of questions about this topic, so I spoke with an IRA consultant who gave me the following list below. Note: This individual is not a CPA or tax attorney, so you should verify these answers first, do your own due diligence, check with the selling broker (ensure that you don’t purchase the metals from a disqualified party), your attorney or CPA and visit the IRS website (since regulations change) for yourself just to be sure that before you make any purchases that can get you into trouble.

precious metals in ira

Not All Gold is Allowed in an IRA


With that being said, here is a summary of the types of assets that are currently allowed by the IRS at the time of this writing:

  • Gold and silver coins minted by the USA (must pass purity test)
  • Certain platinum coins minted in the USA (also must pass purity test)
  • A coin minted under/by any US State
  • Gold, silver, platinum or palladium bullion
  • Foreign coins meeting the bullion standard include Gold Maple Leafs, Kangaroo Nuggets, Philharmonikers and Perth Mint’s Lunar Series

IRA Eligible Physical Metals

This list comes from our friends Gold for America. Sunwest Trust does not endorse any particular precious metals broker, but Gold for America is one option that you have for buying precious metals.

Precious metals that are allowed in an IRA:

IRA Gold Options

• Gold Eagles (1)
• Australian Kangaroos & Nuggets
• Austrian Gold Philharmonics
• Gold Maple Leafs
• Credit and Pamp Suisse gold bars – .999
• United States Buffalos (Except Proof coins)
• Rounds and bars as distinguished below (2)

IRA Silver Options

• American Eagles (1)
• Australian Kookaburras
• Austrian Philharmonics
• Canadian Maple Leafs
• Mexican Libertads
• Rounds and bars as distinguished below (2)

IRA Platinum Options

• American Eagles (1)
• Australian Koalas
• Canadian Maple Leaf coins
• Isle of Man Nobles
• Rounds and bars as distinguished below (2)

IRA Palladium Options

• Rounds and bars as distinguished below (2)

*(1) Coins allowed, inclusive of the American Eagles, that is ‘slabbed’, (having undergone ‘certification’) are not permissible in an individual retirement account at present.

*(2) Rounds and bars minted by national mint, CBOT/Liffe/NYSE, ISE-9000, Comex/Nymex accredited manufacturers.

The minimum fineness for precious metal bars are:

Palladium .9995+
Platinum .9995+
Silver. 999+
Gold .995+

American Eagle Gold/Silver Proofs

Proofs go through a particular mint process which uses specific dies. The blank coins are placed manually into a press where they are struck numerous times to ensure nicely detailed and softly frosted images on the coins which are raised above a mirror finish background.

Inspectors at the mints examine every coin prior to deeming it a proof coin and then they are put inside the proof case. American Eagle proofs come in nice satin-lined velvet proof cases with official Certificates of Authenticity from the United States Mint.

Proofs generally are limited and their value is determined by numerous factors including demand, the price of the metal, their age, condition, rarity, and mintage.

The U.S. government issues proof coins every year in limited production limited number and particular years are more sought after. Being classed as numismatic, proofs generally do cost more than the spot price of metal content. This can mean that the price will potentially see less volatility than bullion coins.

Bullion is essentially priced by the current spot price of the metal.

Terry White

About Terry White

I started my business career after getting my degree in Accounting from the University of New Mexico in 1983. My first job was as a controller for a local title company, and in 1987 I started First Financial Escrow, Inc. Over the years I played a part in several startup companies including First Financial Equities, Inc., First Financial Trust, Inc., First Financial Marketing, Inc. and Asset Ventures, Inc. In 1997 First Financial Escrow, Inc. was able to purchase the escrow accounts from Sunwest Bank and changed its name to Sunwest Escrow. As the market changes, Sunwest has grown and changed along with it. Besides my wife, Sheila, we have three boys, two daughters-in-law, one grandson, another grandson on the way and a future daughter-in-law. Sunwest is my passion, and I enjoy coming to work every day to see what will happen next. I enjoy fly fishing, spending time in Colorado, biking and watching my boys play soccer.