Can You Put Coins in an IRA?

Due to tax law restrictions on IRA investments, such as collectables, it’s vital that before making any decision regarding coins or bullion investment within an IRA account. Consult a professional first.

In this instance, the IRS determined that McNulty received taxable distributions when she obtained physical possession of her AE coins; she failed to satisfy all statutory requirements under section 408(m).

Precious Metals

Precious metals can be an ideal investment vehicle for retirement. But it’s essential that you understand all the rules associated with investing in precious metals through an IRA before beginning this endeavor.

The IRS only permits certain coins and bullion to be held in individual retirement accounts (IRAs), including gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion of certain fineness produced at an approved refiner or national government mint. Numismatic coins cannot be included as investments within an IRA.

Finding an asset custodian who will purchase your precious metals at a competitive price is also vitally important, so research the custodian’s reputation and fees charged before making your selection.

Some individuals opt to establish a self-directed IRA and invest in precious metals through it, as a way of avoiding expensive custodian fees. But this might not always be the best choice given that the IRS has stated an IRA can’t hold physical precious metals directly – instead consider purchasing precious metals ETFs instead.


Many collectors appreciate collectibles for their uniqueness and historical importance; however, these investments rarely provide better returns than stocks or money market accounts.

IRS rules allow IRAs to invest in coins and bullion as long as they comply with IRS regulations. Gold bullion with at least 0.9999% fineness can be purchased – American Eagle coins are popular but bars may also be an option.

An IRA does not generally permit ownership of certain collectibles such as artwork, rugs, stamps, gems, antique furniture and alcoholic beverages like wine. When investing in such items, their sale is treated as a distribution and subject to income taxes; these taxes increase if an investor is under age 59 1/2 and return may not materialize quickly if value drops rapidly. When considering collectibles as investments it is essential that you understand their potential appreciation or depreciation as well as any tax implications before proceeding with them.


IRAs are popular retirement investment accounts offered by financial institutions such as banks, brokerage firms and robo-advisors. Generally speaking, they tend to have lower fees than 401(k) plans and more potential investment options; however, they still incur market risks that could cause their value to decrease over time.

Investment in an IRA should come with an understanding of tax laws pertaining to it, in particular with distributions from an IRA account being taxed at ordinary income rates and may incur an early withdrawal penalty of 10% if made prior to age 59 1/2. Beneficiaries who inherit such accounts must also carefully plan how they’ll access their inheritance, since beneficiaries who inherit IRA assets may need to “stretch out” withdrawals over several years before receiving full distributions.

Employers may allow employees to contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA through payroll deduction plans such as 401(k), Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA. Contributions should be documented on IRS Form 5498.


Self-directed IRAs allow investors to invest in coins and precious metals, with physical bullion being held by either your custodian or another IRS-approved depository. A reliable custodian should guide you through this process while making sure your account meets IRS regulations. Be sure to research dealers as well, ensuring they offer quality silver at reasonable prices.

Of course, precious metals are an excellent diversifier that can help offset inflation and market volatility; however, their proportion should only account for a minor portion of your retirement portfolio. Be mindful that rare or collectible coins may not qualify as eligible investments for your IRA; all approved coins and bars must also have been certified as pure by an assayer or national government mint, meeting certain fineness requirements; numismatic coins are not permitted within an IRA account while American Eagle proof coins only qualify as semi-numismatic pieces while only uncirculated American Buffalo coins qualify.

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