Are Coins and Bars Allowed in an IRA?

When it comes to precious metals, the IRS has very strict rules surrounding investment. You cannot simply invest in any coin or bar; each must first receive approval by the IRS as suitable investments for use within an IRA account.

The Tax Court found that McNulty’s physical possession of the AE coins constituted a taxable distribution under Section 408(m)(3).

Precious metals

Precious metals have long been seen as reliable stores of wealth. Not only do they not depend on government decisions or financial institutions for their value, they cannot be easily altered like paper money can.

IRAs can store an assortment of precious metal products, including coins. However, in order to qualify as an IRA investment option they must comply with IRS standards for purity values – two examples being the British Silver Britannia coin with its intricate design and New Zealand Silver Kiwi coin featuring its adorable namesake bird as examples of such precious metal products that meet IRS purity values standards.

American Gold Eagle and Silver Eagle coins qualify as eligible IRA-eligible bullion coins, while precious metals bars produced by Johnson Matthey qualify as long as they’re 99.9% pure; available in 1-ounce, 10-ounce and 100-ounce variants respectively. It should be noted that all eligible bars should be held by an external custodian rather than in the custody of the IRA owner directly.


Gold has long been seen as a symbol of wealth and its practical applications make it an attractive investment option. However, investing in physical gold through an IRA may present certain drawbacks: gold does not pay out any interest or dividends and relies solely on capital appreciation to grow investments.

Gold IRAs can only invest in certain coins and bullion that meet minimum fineness requirements set by the IRS, helping ensure their investments remain safe and secure. This limit ensures the security of IRA owners’ investments.

Investors should remember that their gold held in an IRA must be stored with an IRS-approved custodian for optimal returns and to protect your investment. A reliable custodian will inspect, verify and record products prior to storing them at their designated facility.


Silver bullion products qualify for Individual Retirement Accounts as long as they satisfy specific purity and fineness requirements, including graded coins and slabbed silver bars that do not meet these specifications. Furthermore, precious metals must come from either an NYMEX- or COMEX-approved refinery, national government mint or ISO 9000 accredited assayer – PAMP Suisse currently produces highly sought-after IRA-eligible silver bars in one-, five- and ten-ounce weights; Johnson Matthey also offers similar offerings – including bars featuring their popular Walking Liberty designs.

Coins and bars eligible for storage within an IRA must be stored in an IRS-approved depository of an investor’s choice, while physical possession is prohibited to prevent the commingling of personal assets with retirement accounts, which could result in taxed distributions at some point down the line. Therefore, many investors choose reputable custodians when investing in gold IRAs or silver IRAs, which act as trustees on self-directed IRAs as required by law.


Copper is an extremely ductile and malleable metal that makes an excellent electrical and thermal conductor, corrosion resistance and heat sink.

Copper has long been an essential part of civilization. For instance, massive doors at Egypt’s Temple of Amen-Re were covered in copper cladding; similarly, Sri Lanka’s Loha Maha Paya temple has nine-stories with copper roof shingles to shine under its gaze.

Copper has long been recognized for its vital role in solar, wind and electric vehicle technologies; therefore, the Energy Department released their inaugural “critical materials” list, including copper as one of their “critical materials”. As part of this initiative, refineries processing copper may qualify for tax benefits to improve their competitive edge and increase competitiveness.

S&P Global’s report provides insight into this challenge, noting the IRA’s critical minerals requirements will increase demand but finding enough supply is likely difficult, particularly for nickel and cobalt.

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