IRA Gold Physical Requirements – What Physical Gold is Eligible?

Last Updated on 2nd June 2022 by Jeffrey Camerda

IRA Gold Physical Requirements – What Physical Gold is Eligible?

Gold bought using an IRA must meet the requirements set by the Internal Revenue Service as outlined in section 408(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. The IRC defines the characteristics that physical gold must meet to be eligible for an IRA account. This guide gives a brief insight into what and how physical gold and other precious metals are eligible for investment using an IRA.

Gold bought using a self directed IRA must meet the requirements set out by the Internal Revenue Service. If you are planning on buying gold with your IRA you need to know which types of physical gold are eligible for investment and which are not.

The IRS has made it very clear as to what types of gold and other precious metals can be invested in. Section 408m of the Internal Revenue Code defines the criteria which must be met. Below is a guideline of what you need to know about approved precious metals. This is just an overview.

When planning on investing your IRA in gold always seek the advice of a professional.

  • Gold Purity: gold / gold bullion must have a purity value of at least 99.5%.
  • Gold Mint: minted by national mint, CBOT/NYSE/Liffe/ISE-9000, Comex/Nymex accredited manufacturers.

investing in physical goldIRA Eligible Gold & Other Precious Metals:

  • Gold and Silver coins minted by the USA (minimum purity 99.5%)
  • Certain Platinum coins minted in the USA (minimum purity 99.5%)
  • Coins minted by any US State
  • Gold, Silver, Platinum, or Palladium Bullion (must meet purity rating)
  • Some Foreign Coins: Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, Australian Kangaroo Nuggets, Perth Mint Lunar Series, and Austrian Philharmonikers.

Examples of IRA Eligible Gold & Silver:

Below is a list of some of the most popular physical gold, gold bullion, and silver investment options for IRAs.

IRA Eligible Gold:

  • American Eagle Coins
  • American Buffalo Coins
  • Australian Kangaroo Coins
  • Austrian Philharmonic Coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Credit and Pamp Suisse Gold Bars (0.999 purity)
  • Other Rounds and Bars minted by national mint, CBOT/NYSE/Liffe, ISE-9000, and Comex/Nymex accredited minters.
  • Note: slabbed coins and proof coins may not meet IRA eligibility requirements.

IRA Eligible Silver:

  • American Eagle Coins
  • Mexican Libertad Coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Australian Kookaburra Coins
  • Austrian Philharmonic Coins
  • Other Rounds and Bars minted by national mint, CBOT/NYSE/Liffe, ISE-9000, and Comex/Nymex accredited minters.
  • Note: slabbed coins and proof coins may not meet IRA eligibility requirements.

IRA Eligible Platinum:

  • Australian Koala Coins
  • American Eagle Coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Isle of Man Nobles
  • Other Rounds and Bars minted by national mint, CBOT/NYSE/Liffe, ISE-9000, and Comex/Nymex accredited minters.
  • Note: slabbed coins and proof coins may not meet IRA eligibility requirements.

IRA Eligible Palladium:

  • Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Other Rounds and Bars minted by national mint, CBOT/NYSE/Liffe, ISE-9000, and Comex/Nymex accredited minters.
  • Note: slabbed coins and proof coins may not meet IRA eligibility requirements.

IRA Fineness Requirements for Precious Metal Bars:

  • Gold: 0.995+
  • Silver: 0.999+
  • Platinum: 0.9995+
  • Palladium: 0.9995+

IRA Gold Storage Requirements

Physical gold bought with an IRA must be stored in an IRS approved depository. You cannot store it at home or in an office. Self-storage is not an option for precious metals bought using an IRA.

The rules governing the storage of IRA gold in an individual retirement account are outlined in section 408m of the Internal Revenue Code. The IRC code clearly states that IRA gold or other precious metals must be stored in the “physical possession” of a recognized financial institution or IRS approved non-bank such as a depository.

The bottom line is you cannot take physical possession of your approved precious metals. To help you choose a gold IRA custodian read our guide Best Gold IRA Companies 2020

It is a legal requirement that you employ a custodian company to manage your IRA for you. They will take care of all the legal obligations and ensure all paperwork is completed with due diligence. If you have chosen a good custodian company they will also assist you with purchasing gold or other precious metals with your IRA and will arrange storage for you.

Two of the most popular secure storage depositories for IRA gold are the Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global Services. Other IRS approved storage depositories include HSBC Bank USA, JPMorgan Chase Bank North America, CNT Depository, and Scotia Mocatta. For more information on precious metals storage read our guide: IRA Gold Storage Requirements

close up of a gold barIs Investing in Gold a Good Idea?

Gold is an excellent asset for portfolio diversification. If you are considering diversifying your retirement account gold is an excellent option. You can rollover your entire existing 401k, traditional IRA, or Roth IRA, or if you prefer just a portion of it. Gold functions as a kind of financial safety blanket.

If you are concerned about the performance and future value of traditional paper assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds you need to think about protecting your retirement funds. Experts are warning that the global financial system is on the brink once again.

And when the next crisis strikes the value of traditional assets will crumble overnight. The key point to consider here is that when the value of traditional assets fall, the value of gold greatly increases.

Prudent investors are hedging their bets and protecting themselves by investing in alternative assets such as gold and other precious metals. During the boom years, financial experts advised that at least 10% of any portfolio be held in gold.

However, with a potential global economic crisis around the corner, this percentage increases significantly. It is time to start thinking about protecting your wealth. Here are three key features that make gold such an attractive investment asset:

  • Asset Diversification: When it comes to protecting your retirement funds against any sudden economic shock diversification is key. We have never been at a more critical time when it comes to diversifying your assets. Financial experts are warning of an imminent global economic crisis. US national debt is spiraling and the US dollar is in steady decline. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that US national debt will hit an incredible 98% of GDP by 2030. Traditional paper assets have never been more fragile.
  • Proven Wealth Protection: Gold is the go-to asset for wealth protection. It has been used for centuries to protect wealth. It has a proven track record throughout history. Gold is a non-speculative long term investment option.
  • Gold Moves in Opposite Direction to US Dollar: As the value of the US dollar falls, the value of gold increases. They move in opposite directions to one another. When an economic crisis hits and inflation takes hold the value of the dollar will plummet as too will the value of traditional assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Investors will turn to alternative assets to protect their wealth and this will see the value of gold sky-rocket. If the economy is stuttering or you can envisage an imminent global crisis, it’s a good time to invest in gold.

investing on smart phoneHow to Open a Gold IRA

Opening up a gold IRA is very easy. All you need to do is open a new ‘Self-Directed IRA’ and rollover funds from a 401K, 403b, 457b, TSP, Roth IRA or Traditional IRA. You can rollover all your funds or just a portion of them if you prefer. The first step involves getting the new gold IRA account set-up.

To do this you need to choose a custodian company to manage the account for you. Your custodian will take you through the process of opening the account. Typically this can be done in as little as 24-48 hours. Once the account is up and running it is time to roll over some of your retirement funds.

mobile phone on a deskGold IRA Rollover

IRA rollover is a process your custodian will guide you through. The most important point to consider during a rollover is the avoidance of any tax penalties from the IRS as the funds are transferred. There are two mays of rolling over, direct and in-direct. Direct means the funds move directly from one account to the other without you laying a hand on them.

An in-direct rollover involves receiving a check in the post and then lodging it into the new gold IRA account. A direct rollover is safer as it avoids the potential for triggering some stiff taxation penalties from the IRA. An indirect runs the risk of financial penalties if the check is not deposited into the new account in its entirety within 60 days.

For more information, you can read our guide on 08 – 401k Gold IRA Rollover.

gold and silver coins on a tablePurchasing Physical Gold with your IRA

Once the rollover is complete and you have funds in your account you can begin buying gold. Depending on the custodian you have chosen you may be able to strike a deal directly with a gold broker and then direct your custodian to purchase the gold on your behalf.

Alternatively, agreeing on a deal with a suitable broker may be a service your account custodian provides. Once you have agreed on how much gold to purchase and at what price you will complete a Direction of Investment Form.

This document will instruct your IRA custodian to purchase gold in your name. Funds will leave your retirement account and the gold broker will have physical gold delivered to an agreed secure storage facility to be held in your name.

Your custodian will ensure that the physical gold purchase meets the eligibility requirements as dictated by the IRS. If you have any queries regarding the eligibility of the gold you are purchasing you should discuss them in detail with your IRA custodian at this point.  For more information on gold IRA, read our Regal Assets Precious Metal IRA Review.

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Certified Financial Planner at Camarda Wealth Advisory Group | 800-262-1083 | Website

Dr. Jeffery Camerda, PhD, is a financial planner who specializes in wealth management and retirement planning.

With a PhD in Economics and Financial Planning, Jeffery represents the highest level of financial planning expertise and achievement in the USA

In addition to preparing you for a career in financial planning, a PhD in economics and finance also prepares you for academic pursuits, such as becoming a university professor in teaching or doing research.

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In order to provide the finest advice and services, we pay close attention to the specific financial circumstances and requirements of each client.

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Jeffrey Camarda, PhD, CFA, EA is also the founder of the Family Wealth Education Institute, is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as the Chairman of Camarda Wealth Advisory Group

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