Are Coins Allowed in an IRA?

As uncertainty in the financial markets increases, investors are turning to precious metals as an avenue of safety and security. Unfortunately, certain popular coins are considered collectibles by the IRS and cannot be held within an IRA account.

However, the IRS allows bullion to be stored in an IRA if it is physically held by a trustee.


Precious metals eligible for inclusion in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) must meet IRS fineness requirements. No numismatic coins may be held within an IRA account, though semi-numismatic American Eagle gold and silver dollar coins qualify as investments. Bullion bars must also meet strict weight specifications.

Investors looking to diversify their retirement portfolio with precious metals may purchase shares of an ETF that tracks a particular precious metal’s price, which provides a simple and low-risk way of diversifying. Physical ownership could present more complications in terms of paperwork and storage.

Finding the ideal custodian can make or break your investment, so be sure to find someone with excellent prices for precious metals while not charging excessive one-time or monthly fees – these expenses could significantly diminish its value. A knowledgeable and reputable custodian will also ensure your IRA complies with IRS rules concerning collectibles or tangible assets held within an IRA.


Gold bullion is the go-to investment option for your IRA when it comes to precious metals investments, and its value largely tracks that of gold per ounce. Bullion typically comes in the form of coins or bars covered with precious metal plating; precious metal IRA custodians typically charge one-time account setup fees as well as annual storage and insurance fees as well as commission for purchasing or selling precious metals; additional hidden fees may also apply from individual dealers.

If you’re thinking about investing in gold or other precious metals, make sure that the IRS-approved self-directed IRA you select can store your precious metals safely according to IRS rules. In addition, multiple custodians should be selected – for greater diversity. Furthermore, individuals aged 72 or above must take RMDs from traditional IRAs as per required minimum distributions (RMD). With multiple accounts you can divide investments and take RMDs accordingly.

Self-directed IRAs

If you’re interested in investing in alternative assets such as precious metals or real estate, considering opening a self-directed IRA (SDIRA). These specialized retirement accounts allow investors to invest in types of investments typically restricted by the IRS, including real estate, private companies and shares held privately, checkbook IRA/LLCs, notes, cryptocurrency and others.

The Tax Court easily rejected the IRS’ argument that McNulty’s physical possession of the AE coins constituted constructive receipt, since she exercised unfettered command and control over them. This violated Sec 4975’s prohibition against investing IRA funds in collectibles; currently allowed investments include silver, gold and platinum coins as well as bars of 400 ounce gold, 100 ounce silver and 50 ounce palladium purity – although numismatic coins and other forms of collectibles purchased directly from dealers or non-IRA custodians cannot be included within an IRA custodian’s capacity.


Custodians or trustees of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) are financial institutions that hold its investments safely for safekeeping, adhering to IRS and government regulations and adhering to any special requirements set by self-directed IRAs. Traditional custodians offer this service only for marketable securities like stocks and mutual funds – they do not allow self-directed IRAs to invest in alternative assets like private notes or precious metals.

The Tax Court held that the flush language in Section 408(m)(3) did not create an exception to the physical possession ban for an IRA trustee and that she violated it when she combined her assets with those from another gold IRA. Furthermore, according to IRS arguments she failed to meet the qualifications for qualified coins (legal tender and meeting minimum fineness of 99.5%).

Custodians who accept IRA accounts that invest in alternative assets may be unfamiliar with working with investors seeking to purchase and sell private investments, and are not mandated by law to conduct thorough investigations and validate those investments. Therefore, fraudulent sellers could exploit legitimate custodians to sell fraudulent investments to retirement account holders.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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