what is ira-eligible gold

What Is IRA-eligible Gold? | Everything You Need to Know!

With the average stock price down by 17% and inflation touching a 40-year high in 2022, investors are reassessing their investments and financial goals. 

Thanks to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, people can now diversify their retirement portfolio and invest in gold through a specialized individual retirement account (IRA).

However, there are certain requirements that the precious metal must meet before you can purchase it through a gold IRA. This brief guide will go through what an IRA eligible gold is, the types of products you can invest in, and the advantages and risks of IRA-eligible gold investment.

Let’s get started!

ira eligible gold definition

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has placed specific requirements for holding precious metals in an IRA, including the minimum purity level.

What is IRA-eligible gold? How does it help with retirement planning? Let’s find out!


Definition of IRA-eligible Gold

The IRS does not allow investors to hold collectibles, including various types of precious metals, in an IRA. However, there are some forms of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that you can purchase for your precious metals IRA, highlighting the importance of understanding in gold IRAs.

Under the IRS guidelines, an investor can hold gold with a minimum purity of 99.5% in a precious metals IRA. There are many companies that sell IRA-eligible gold, so finding a suitable precious metal shouldn’t be too challenging.

Role of IRA-eligible Gold in Retirement Planning

Investors consider precious metals as strategic assets. During geopolitical and economic uncertainty, the value of the dollar may fall, prompting people to move towards safer investments like gold.

Besides protecting the value of one’s savings during poor market performance, gold plays a significant role in retirement planning. It’s a great way to preserve wealth while enjoying long-term capital appreciation.

Legal Framework for IRA-eligible Gold

The IRS is responsible for setting the guidelines and legal framework for a gold IRA account, some of which include the following:

  • Purity standards: The IRS requires investors to invest in 99.9% pure gold bars and 99.5% pure gold coins in precious metals IRAs. You can find more details about this in the IRS Publication 590.

  • IRS-approved depositories: The IRS requires investors to hold gold and other precious metals in IRS-approved depositories. These are facilities with secure storage for safekeeping.

  • Reporting requirements: The IRA custodians must report certain transactions to the IRS for compliance with the tax regulations.

Types of IRA-eligible Gold Products

ira eligible gold coins

As we’ve discussed earlier, not all gold products are eligible for an IRA. In this section, we’ll quickly go over the criteria for IRA-eligible precious metals and the role of the national mint.

Criteria for IRA-eligible Gold Products

Under the IRS guidelines, investors can only invest in IRA-eligible gold products that have a minimum fineness of 99.5%. However, it’s important to note that the purity requirement varies from one type of gold product to another.

The Role of National Government Mints

The national government mint plays a crucial role in producing IRA-eligible and collectible gold products. It ensures quality and authenticity while enjoying widespread recognition and acceptance in the precious metals industry.

Diverse IRA-eligible Gold Products

Here are some of the diverse IRA-eligible gold products you can purchase for your IRA:

Gold Coins

ira eligible gold coin american golden eagle 1oz

Purchasing gold coins is a fantastic investment, as they are highly liquid assets, making them easy to sell. 

In most cases, the value of a gold coin is far greater than the content of the precious metal it holds. However, it has a higher premium over its spot price.

Gold Bars and Rounds

ira eligible gold bars and bullions

Those who are looking for the best bang for their buck may want to consider gold bars and rounds, as they have a lower premium than gold coins. However, it’s important to note that these types of financial assets only have an intrinsic value, which comes from the content of the precious metals.

Gold and Silver Bullions

silver bullion bars

The significance of gold bullion shouldn’t be underestimated. The term bullion refers to gold and silver bars and coins with purity levels of 99.5% and 99.9%, respectively. Gold IRA companies have many options to choose from, making it easy for an investor to purchase a financial asset that aligns with their investment goals.

Examples of IRA-approved Gold Products

ira approved gold coins

Investors can hold gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins that meet the IRS standards in a precious metals IRA. 

Here are a couple of examples of IRA-eligible gold products:

Recognized Gold Coins and Bullions

The following are the most commonly recognized and widely accepted gold coins that are suitable to hold in an IRA:

  • American Gold Eagle
  • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
  • South African Krugerrand
  • Australian Gold Kangaroo
  • Austrian Gold Philharmonic

All of the above-mentioned gold coins come in many different denominations/weights. The same is true for the most commonly recognized gold bullion, which includes the following:

  • PAMP Suisse Gold Bars
  • Credit Suisse Gold Bars
  • Valcambi Gold Bars

Notable Gold Bars

Some examples of notable gold bars include Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, and The Royal Canadian Mint, among others.

Other IRS-approved Gold Products

Investors can invest the funds in their gold IRA in gold-related paper investments, such as Exchange-traded Funds (ETFs), precious metals mutual funds, and stocks of gold mining companies.

Investing in Gold for IRA

investing in gold ira

If you want to invest in gold for an IRA, this section provides valuable information to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of an IRA-eligible Gold Investment

Here are a couple gold IRA advantages that offer good gold investment benefits:

  • Portfolio diversification
  • Tax benefits
  • Hedge against inflation
  • Stable investment
  • Long-term capital appreciation

Risks and Mitigation in a Gold IRA Investment

The following are a couple of risks of holding precious metals in a gold IRA:

  • Market volatility
  • Gold does not generate consistent income
  • High storage and custodian fees
  • Potential for capital loss
  • Changes in regulations

By diversifying a retirement portfolio and properly planning a financial strategy, an investor can mitigate most of the risks associated with a gold IRA.

Recommended Gold Investment for an IRA

Before purchasing gold for your IRA, working with a financial advisor is important. They can guide you on the products and the tax implications of a specialized individual retirement account to help you create a strategy that aligns with your investment goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Gold with the IRA?

You can only hold gold in precious metals IRA, which is a specialized retirement account that lets investors purchase IRS-eligible gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products.

Can I Own Physical Gold in my IRA?

You can purchase physical gold to hold in a specialized retirement account. It important to understand the differences between gold IRA and physical gold to be able to make the best possible decision. However, under the IRS guidelines, you cannot keep the precious metals that you buy for your IRA at your home. 

It’s important to work with a custodian and an IRS-approved secure depository for safekeeping.

Which IRS-approved Coins Can You Hold in a Gold IRA?

You can hold gold and silver bullion coins in a gold IRA that meets the minimum fineness requirements set by the IRS, which are as follows:

  • Gold bullion coins – 99.5%
  • Gold bars – 99.9%
  • Silver coins – 99.9%

What Does It Mean When Gold Is IRA Eligible?

IRA-eligible gold coins and bars are precious metals that meet the IRS minimum fineness requirements. Investors can purchase these types of financial assets to hold in their gold IRAs.

What Are the Penalties for Early Withdrawal from a Gold IRA?

The Internal Revenue Service allows withdrawals at the age of 59 1/2. However, if investors withdraw before they reach 59 1/2, they may have to pay a 10% penalty.


ira eligible gold safe investment

Precious metals investments, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, are a great way to diversify one’s retirement portfolio and ensure stability during economic uncertainty. However, those looking for higher returns may find better investment opportunities elsewhere.

Whether it’s gold bars or platinum coins, if you’re interested in holding precious metals in an individual retirement account, make sure that it complies with the IRS guidelines. Do your research before investing your hard-earned cash!

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