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Precious Metals IRA Rules

Precious metal investment is a great option when it comes to protecting your wealth and assets, against the instability and volatility of stock market. With an IRA for gold, silver, and other metals you are able to transform your current retirement investments into a tax-deferred asset.

Recently, over a twelve-year period, investments of gold for IRA funds increased in value thirty-fold when compared with traditional investments. By fully understanding how to invest and the rules that the IRS has set up for IRAs, you will have a better understanding of the rules for your IRA and increase your investments and retirement wealth.

Defining Precious Metals for IRA

Twenty years ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only considered silver and gold coins (American Eagle) which were distributed by the U.S. Mint as high-value metals for IRAs. Over time, these standards have evolved, and today there is a wide variety of coins along with gold and silver bullion that are acceptable according to IRA standards. Other metals include palladium and platinum—as long as they meet certain IRS standards. At this time, collectible coins and rare coins that contain certain metals, such as antiques or jewelry, are still not acceptable.

Not all precious metals investment are allowed in IRA. There must be a certain level of purity innate to the coins and bullion in order to reach certification.


According to the IRS standards, gold bullion and coins must be 99.9% pure gold, and this value usually means it is 24 karats. These coins or bullion are acceptable as long as they have a certificate by a NYMEX or COMEX approved refiner or assayer. Bullion bars of this level of purity vary in range from 1 troy oz. to a gigantic 400 oz. that are usually standard in international trading markets. Twenty-four-karat american eaglecoins made of gold, including the gold American Eagles, the Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, and the Austrian Gold Philharmonics, are also approved by the IRS. The IRS has allowed one exception to this rule, and this includes the 22-karat American Eagle gold coin.


As far as silver bullion or silver coins, they must be of a purity of .999 or higher in order to be considered for a precious IRA. This means that U.S. silver coins that were minted before the year of 1965 are not allowed because they doCanadian Silver Maple Leafs not contain high percentages of certain base alloys. Silver bullion bars that are considered fine can be purchased in 1000 troy oz. to 100 troy oz. Silver coins that can be considered include Mexican Silver Libertads, Canadian Silver Maple Leafs, and Silver American Eagles, as they all meet the IRS standards for precious metals IRA.

Others Precious Metals

Other metals that are included as precious metals include bullion or coins that are made from either palladium or platinum. These are only acceptable if they are 99.95% pure, which means .995 or higher. They must come from a NYMEX or COMEX approved assayer or refiner in order to qualify. Because the market for these metals is much smaller than gold or silver there are usually lesser options to choose from. Bullion bars of palladium or platinum can be purchased between 1 and 100 troy oz. Coins that are acceptable include those that have been issued by the U.S. Mint, like the American Eagle platinum coins. There may be some coins from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada that qualify as well as long as they feature the percentage of platinum or palladium necessary.

Purchasing Precious Metals IRA

It is essential to consider all of the precious metals IRA rules when opening an account. If purchasing rules are not followed properly, there may be taxes or fines associated with the purchase of the metals which may affect their status in terms of being allowed in an IRA.

Hence, it is very important to get an experienced and dedicated consultant when investing in precious metals IRA as they can assist you with proper buying guidelines as well as the IRA rules governing such metals.