A Precious Metals IRA, commonly known as a Gold IRA, allows you to invest in a wide range of alternative assets, including precious metals such as gold. However, not all gold bars and coins are acceptable for use as IRA assets, as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has established very strict restrictions and purity standards for the sorts of gold that can be utilized in an IRA. Many gold bars and coins, in fact, are ineligible for deposit into a Gold IRA because they do not meet the IRS’s minimal purity requirements.
In the next paragraphs, you’ll learn how to choose the correct gold bullion products for your Gold IRA, read about IRS gold requirements, and view a list of popular gold coins and bars that aren’t IRA-eligible:
Gold Requirements of the IRS
The IRS permits the owner of a self-directed precious metals IRA to keep qualified silver bullion products in a tax-advantaged retirement account. Using gold as an alternative investment within an IRA, the investor can safeguard their portfolio from inflation while simultaneously accumulating retirement wealth on a tax-deferred or tax-free basis. The IRS has established the following main bullion qualifying requirements for gold held in an IRA:
A gold bullion product must meet the IRA gold purity criterion of 0.995 purity to be eligible for investment in an IRA. To put it another way, a gold coin or bar deposited into an IRA must be at least 0.995 percent pure.
The gold that is deposited into the IRA must be kept in a secure location. A depository is a secure storing place for precious metals. The IRS has authorized only a few depositories to handle IRA gold. The majority of bullion dealers and brokers will have a preferred depositories list.
The trustee of the IRA must be nominated by a custodian. In a typical situation, an investor would locate a bullion dealer from whom they would acquire gold for their IRA, and that dealer would then assist them in opening an account with their preferred custodian and depository. As a result, to start investing in a Gold IRA, the investor usually only needs to interact with one entity (a dealer/broker).
Gold Coins Approved by the IRA
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular gold coins that can be used to fund an IRA:
American Gold Eagle, 2014
American Gold Eagles – The American Gold Eagle is 91.67 percent pure gold, yet it weighs just 1.0909 troy ounces, therefore it still contains 1 troy ounce of gold.
American Gold Buffalo 2014
American Gold Buffaloes — These coins were the United States Mint’s first 1 oz.9999-gold coins, introduced in 2006. The Gold Buffaloes rapidly established themselves as a formidable opponent for their Canadian Maple Leaf equivalent.
Gold Kangaroo, Australia, 2014.
Gold Kangaroos — These coins were first issued in 1987 by Gold Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Western Australian government. In Australia, gold Kangaroo coins are legal money and have been a popular investment and collector’s item for the past two and a half decades.
Austrian Gold Philharmonic 2014
The Austrian Gold Philharmonic is recognized for its classic Musicverein design, which has a symphony of common instruments such as the cello, harp, violin, bassoon, and french horn.
Canada’s 2014 Gold Maple Leaf
The Gold Maple Leafs of Canada — The Royal Canadian Mint guarantees the purity and weight of Canadian Gold Maple Leafs. These coins are usually offered in mint tubes in packs of ten.
Gold Coins Commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 – The Royal Canadian Mint guarantees the weight and purity of these highly limited edition commemorative coins. These coins are available in singles or in sheets of 20 from the Royal Canadian Mint.
Popular Gold Bars That Are IRA-Approved
Credit Suisse Bar, 2014
Credit Suisse Gold Bars – The famed Credit Suisse mint in Zurich, Switzerland, produces these bars. All Credit Suisse bars are purified to a minimum of 99.99 percent purity.
Johnson, 2014 Gold Bar from Matthey
Johnson Matthey Gold Bars — While these bars aren’t as widely available as some of the other popular gold bullion bars, they come in a number of denominations and are widely regarded as some of the best gold bars money can buy. Johnson Matthey gold bars are guaranteed to have a purity of.9999 pure gold.
Valcambi Gold Combibar 2014
Valcambi Gold CombiBar – These “divisible” bars are 0.999 percent pure gold with the added benefit of being split into 50 easily detachable 1 gram tiny bars.
In an IRA, gold bullion coins are not permitted.
Not Allowed IRA
Although there are thousands of gold coins that are not suitable for IRA investment, the following list highlights some of the most common non-eligible coins. Any bullion vendor who tries to offer you the following coins for your precious metals IRA should be avoided:
- Chilean 100 Peso Coins
- Chinese Panda Coins
- Dutch 10 Guilder Coins
- French Napoleon Coins
- Israel Tower of David Coins
- Mexican Peso Coins
- U.K. Britannia Coins
- South African Krugerrand coins
- Swiss 20 Franc Coins
- Switzerland Vreneli Coins
- Somalia Elephant Coins
- United Kingdom Sovereign Coins
- United Kingdom Queen’s Beasts Gold Coins
- U.S. Double Eagle Gold Coins
- Soviet and Russian Chervonets Coins
- Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins
- French 20 Franc Gold Coins
- U.S. Liberty coins
- Tristan Da Cunha Gold Double Sovereign
- Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins
- Turkey Gold 100 Kurush
- Saudi Arabia Gold One Guinea Coins
- Bhutan Gold 1 Sertum Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Coins
- Singapore Gold 100 Singold Coins
- Macau Gold Year of the Monkey Coins
- India Gold Sovereign George V Coins
- Uruguay Gold 5 Pesos
- Argentina Gold 5 Pesos
- Denmark Gold 20 Kroner Frederik VIII
- Colombia Gold 5 Pesos
- Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis
- Cayman Islands Gold $25
- Niue Gold Hawksbill Turtle Coins
- New Zealand Gold Kiwis
- Peru Gold 100,000 Soles Miguel Grau (1979) and Peru Gold 1 Libra
- Venezuela Gold 60 Bolivares (1955-1960)
- Dominican Republic Gold 30 Pesos (1955)
- Guatemala 1/2 oz Gold Tecun Uman (1965)
- Austria Gold 100 Coronas
- Germany Gold 20 Marks Prussia (1871-1913), Germany Gold 20 Mark Bavaria Otto (1895-1913)
- Netherlands Gold 10 Guilders
- Belgium Gold 20 Francs Leopold II (1867-1914)
- Denmark Gold 10 Kroner The Nightingale (2007), Denmark Gold 10 Kroner Snow Queen (2006)
- Hungary Gold 100 Korona (1908)
- Cook Islands $100 Gold Armillary Coin Valcambi (2015 1 oz)
- Cook Islands Year of the Monkey $200 Mother of Pearl Series Gold Coins (5 ounces)
- Sweden Gold 20 Kronor (Gustaf V 1920)
- Isle of Man 1 oz Gold Noble (2016)
- 2001 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Somali Kittens, 1994 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Japanese Bobtail Cat, 1991 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Norwegian Cat, 1995 Isle of Man 1/10 oz Gold Turkish Van Cat, 1992 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Siamese Cat, 1994 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Japanese Bobtail Cat, 1990 Isle of Man 1 oz Gold New York Alley Cat, 1993 Isle of Man 1/10 oz Gold Maine Coon Cat, 1989 Isle of Man 1 oz Gold Persian Cat, 2001 Isle of Man 1 oz Gold Somali Kittens
- Greece Gold 20 Drachmai George I (1884-A)
- Germany 1/2 oz Gold 100 Euro Introduction of the Euro (2002) and 2007 Germany 1/2 oz Gold 100 Euro Lübeck, 2005 Germany 1/2 oz Gold 100 Euro Soccer World Cup Germany
- Yugoslavia Gold Dukat Alexander I (1931-1933)
- Serbia Gold 10 Dinara (1882)
- Sardinia Gold 20 Lire Carlo Felice (1821-1831)
- Russia Gold 15 Roubles Nicholas II (189), Russia Gold 10 Roubles Chervonets (1975-1982)
- Italy Gold 20 Lire Vittorio Emanuele II (1861-1878)
- Poland Gold 10 Zlotych Boleslaw (1925)
- Monaco Gold 100 Francs Albert I (1882-1904), Monaco Gold 20 Francs Charles III (1878-1879)
- Gibraltar Gold 1/10 oz Royal Cherubs
- Ukraine 1/4 oz Gold Archangel Michael (2014)
- Venice Gold Zecchino Ducat Pietro Grimani (1741-1752), Venice Gold Zecchino Ducat Ludovico Manin (1789-1797)
- Portugal Gold 10,000 Reis King Luiz I (1878-1889), Portugal Gold 5000 Reis King Luiz I (
- Romania Gold 20 Lei 3 Kings (1944)
- Vatican City Gold 100 Lire Pope Pius XI (1929)
- M PJ Spain Gold Escudo (1781)
- Bermuda 1 oz Proof Gold $60 Triangle (1997)
- Niue 1 oz Gold $200 Hawksbill Turtle (2016)
- Fiji 1 oz Gold $200 Taku (2012)
All commemoratives, numismatics, and collector’s coins should be avoided in addition to the coins listed above. These coins are sold at exorbitant premiums and are not meant for investment purposes. Be wary of salespeople who try to persuade you to buy these “rare,” “special,” or “limited edition” coins. In actuality, they are overpriced, and only a small percentage of them will ever be worth more than the purchase price.
The Advantages of IRA-Approved Gold Investing
Investing in gold through a precious metals IRA can benefit a retired investor in a variety of ways. First, unlike a 401k or other type of retirement account, the account is not dollar-backed, thus the continued depreciation of the currency will have no effect on the value of the gold in your IRA. When the value of the dollar falls, many investors turn to gold and other precious metals as a way to keep their capital in a non-depreciating medium. When this happens, the demand for gold rises, and the price rises along with it. Gold IRA investors profit from this clear and continuous correlation since the value of gold rises as the value of the dollar falls.
Investing in gold through an IRA not only protects a portion of your retirement savings from the weakening impacts of inflation on paper currencies, but it also allows you to earn a large long-term return on your investment. With some analysts predicting that gold could reach $5000 per ounce within the next decade and mining companies predicting that all of the world’s discovered gold deposits will be mined within the next 20 years, now could be one of the best times in history to invest in gold as an asset and retirement plan.