Can I Hold Precious Metals in My IRA?

Can I hold precious metals in my IRA

When investing in physical precious metals through an IRA, it’s essential that you understand its rules governing legality, taxes, fees and storage options.

Finding a self-directed IRA custodian who accepts your chosen metals should be your initial goal.


Precious metals have long been seen as an attractive investment option for retirement portfolios due to their safe storage and long-term appreciation. Furthermore, precious metals offer protection from inflation and make for a safer alternative than paper assets that may become vulnerable during periods of economic unrest.

Investment accounts that invest in precious metals must work through an approved custodian, such as a bank, credit union, brokerage firm or savings and loan association. This ensures compliance with IRS regulations and will also coordinate with depository that accept physical precious metals for storage purposes.

Investors must then decide what they wish to purchase. Gold bullion coins that meet IRS guidelines are often the preferred choice; examples include American Eagle coins and Canadian Maple Leaf coins; however, foreign bullion coins such as South African Krugerrands or British Sovereigns do not qualify. IRA-eligible silver bars or rounds, produced at NYMEX or COMEX approved refineries or national government mints may also be suitable options.


Precious metals offer certain tax benefits that make them attractive additions to a retirement portfolio, according to the Journal of Accountancy. Distributions from precious metals IRAs will be subject to tax at your marginal tax rate when taken at retirement age.

Physical precious metals offer additional advantages; unlike stocks or cash investments, which may fluctuate with inflation. Diversifying an IRA portfolio with precious metals provides greater protection from economic downturns.

If you are considering including precious metals in your IRA, begin by finding a dealer specializing in this form of investment and offering an IRS-approved depository. Direct possession is prohibited by the IRS; once selected, choose either coins or bars that meet IRS purity standards; the former tend to offer higher commissions while bullion bars provide more accurate reflection of spot price of metal.


Utilizing an IRA to invest in precious metals may incur several fees. While the purchase price of bullion should be taken into account, custodial and storage fees also need to be factored in.

Reputable dealers should list their fees clearly on their websites, making comparison shopping simple. Also be sure to find out if there is any charge associated with shipping the item(s).

As a general rule, the IRS prohibits investments in collectibles in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), although there is an exception for gold coins and bullion that meets certain purity standards. An independent trustee or custodian must hold these investments for safekeeping in your IRA account.

Many IRA rollover providers provide multiple depository storage options – segregated or commingled storage. Be sure to inquire with each option, then choose the one that makes the most sense for you. Also ask about fee waivers or discounts available during the first year.


The IRS mandates that precious metals held in an IRA be placed in an IRS-approved depository, providing secure storage with low annual fees and geographic diversity to benefit from local tax laws.

Storing silver IRA bullion at home should be avoided, as it could expose it to theft or loss and limits may apply for your home insurance policies that cover precious metals.

Working with a gold IRA company that can handle all administrative duties and storage, is your best bet for success. They have relationships with reliable self directed IRA custodians and can offer state-of-the-art facilities which feature dedicated teams for security as well as GPS-tracked transportation and comprehensive insurance policies to protect precious metals against fire, flood and other natural calamities.

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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