How to Invest Your IRA in Gold and Precious Metals

A lot of people are surprised when they learn that IRA rules allow them to hold real gold bullion, gold coins and other similar forms of precious metals within their retirement accounts. But IRA rules give investors a lot of leeway as to what they can hold in their accounts. IRAs are not restricted to stocks, mutual funds, bonds, certificates of deposit, annuities and other conventional financial products.

With a self-directed IRA account, you can hold precious metals including gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals. Here are some basic requirements:

Allowable Investments

There are four precious metals in which your IRA can invest: gold, silver, platinum and palladium. There are, however, some restrictions when investing in these metals.

Minimum Fineness Requirements

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

Allowable coins include U.S.-Minted Eagles and coins meeting minimum fineness (purity) standards, provided that they are not collectible. The primary value of the coin should come from the gold itself, and not thanks to the scarcity of and demand for the minted coin among coin collectors.

Examples of coins you can own:


  • American Eagle coins (proof and non-proof)
  • American Gold Buffalo coins (non-proof)
  • Austrian Gold Philharmonics coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Australian Kangaroo/Nugget coins
  • Bars and rounds that meet minimum fineness requirements


  • American Eagle Coins (proof and non-proof)
  • Austrian Philharmonic
  • Mexican Libtertads
  • Australian Kookaburras
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coins


  • American Eagle Coins (proof and non-proof)
  • Australian Koalas
  • Isle of Man Noble Coins


  • Bars and rounds that meet the minimum fineness requirements

Disallowed Coins:

There are, however, some coins you cannot own within your IRA, because they are not minted with sufficient purity. Some common examples:

  • Austrian Corona and Ducat
  • Belgian Franc
  • British Sovereign & Britannia
  • German Mark
  • Columbian Peso
  • Dutch Guilder
  • French Franc
  • Swiss Franc
  • Italian Lira
  • Mexican Peso and Ounza
  • South African Krugerrand

To learn more about precious metals IRAs, feel free to give us a call at 877-742-1270 or send us an e-mail at