Can I Hold Gold Coins in My IRA?

Physical gold cannot generate income like stocks, mutual funds or ETFs do; rather, it should be stored safely away for future use.

Self-directed IRAs are one of the few retirement accounts that offer access to alternative investments such as precious metals. Unfortunately, however, these accounts come with additional costs, including annual custodian and storage fees.

Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (SDIRAs) allow investors to diversify their investments beyond stocks and bonds. SDIRAs are usually administered by an approved custodian such as a bank, trust company, or entity recognized by the IRS as being eligible to act as custodians; this individual or entity performs all administration duties for you without providing advice or vetting alternative investments.

Therefore, it’s crucial for an IRA owner to conduct research into potential investments and consult an independent financial advisor before making any major decisions. Furthermore, understanding IRS rules such as prohibited transactions and distribution requirements is also paramount.

Some common investments for SDIRAs include real estate, cryptocurrencies and startup equity. Before purchasing nontraditional assets such as these though, be sure that the custodian you select is trustworthy as some fraudulent custodians have been known to steal funds from IRA owners – this can be prevented using an impartial resource like IRS Accredited Custodian List as this will verify legitimacy.


IRA rules prohibit collecting or storing precious metals at home; instead, approved gold for an IRA should be kept in a depository. This applies to traditional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE IRA plans as well as silver and platinum coins produced using specific fineness standards that meet certain purity requirements in order to qualify as an approved product for an IRA plan.

Investors must carefully consider whether they can afford the fees associated with storing and insuring their gold. Fees usually come from an account custodian or depository; some claim no fees but this may not always be the case. These costs include purchasing physical precious metal, dealer markup fees, account maintenance charges, storage fees and insurance premiums.

Some rare coins such as the American Gold Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf qualify for inclusion in an Individual Retirement Account, though they must be purchased through an IRA-approved dealer to facilitate storage with an approved depository.


Custodians are banks, trust companies, credit unions or brokerage firms that offer asset custody services for IRA investments. Usually they charge a flat annual fee regardless of how much is invested in an IRA account.

Custodians do not select metals dealers for their IRA clients; that responsibility lies solely with each investor. However, established custodians may have relationships with multiple dealers that they could share with potential investors.

Before investing in precious metals, it is crucial that dealers conduct thorough due diligence. Review how long they have been in business, their Better Business Bureau rating, membership in industry organizations such as Professional Numismatists Guild or Accredited Precious Metal Dealers as well as whether any come-ons offer free silver or a low upfront price may actually hide higher storage and insurance costs; additionally the IRS mandates gold bullion in an IRA must meet strict purity requirements, typically at 99.5% pure.


When it comes to storing gold in your IRA, there are various things you must keep in mind. First and foremost, find a storage company with an excellent record for secure storage and insurance protection, such as those offered by Safe Keep. Also avoid keeping gold at home because this could qualify as a distribution and be subject to taxes and penalties.

To safely store gold in an IRA, the best solution is storing it with an approved depository facility regulated by the IRS and offering security and convenience. You can find such locations by visiting your precious metals dealer’s website.

Many IRA companies impose fees for their services, such as account setup fees, custodial costs and storage costs. This should be taken into consideration before investing in precious metals; any companies promising no annual fees should also be approached with caution as typically these firms have higher storage and insurance costs than traditional IRAs.

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