Gold investments are one of the top choices for funding an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Unfortunately, however, not all coins and bars qualify as eligible investments within an IRA.
Only precious metal products meeting the IRS’s minimum fineness requirements and produced from either a national government mint, an accredited refiner, assayer or manufacturer qualify as assets in an Individual Retirement Account.
Proof and Uncirculated Coins
Many collectors appreciate the beauty and extra detail found on proof coins, which typically trade up to three-times their spot price, depending on factors such as rarity and aftermarket demand.
For gold coins and bullion to qualify as eligible investments in an IRA account, the IRS sets specific purity standards. Metal must come from an accredited refiner, assayer or manufacturer (ideally national government mints). Furthermore, minimum fineness requirements must be met.
As opposed to non-IRA bullion, IRA-approved gold cannot be stored safely at home; instead it must be sent directly to an IRA depository for safekeeping. Most precious metal brokers maintain relationships with IRA-compliant vaults and depositories for this reason, providing safe storage solutions to their customers.
Bars and Rounds
Coins and bars that qualify for inclusion as an IRA investment must satisfy certain criteria in order to meet them. Gold bullion must come from either a national government mint, NYMEX/COMEX refiners, LME/NYSE refiners or LIFFE approved refiners while coins must also be recognized legal tender before qualifying as an eligible precious metal investment.
This may preclude collecting collectible coins such as South African Krugerrands and older U.S. Double Eagles from being included, though some numismatic pieces could still be added into a portfolio. Numismatic pieces often carry higher premiums; their value often being determined more by collector demand rather than gold/silver content of coins.
Gold bullion eligible for inclusion in an IRA must also satisfy purity standards, meaning at least 99.5 fine for gold bars and 99.95 or finer for silver, platinum and palladium bars. Furthermore, this rule excludes bars containing less than this fineness level and those produced by private mints who cannot be trusted to produce quality bullion products.
Small Bullion Bars
Bars are an increasingly popular form of physical gold investment due to their convenience and size, often offering lower premiums than coins and providing investors with greater total ounces for each investment dollar.
The IRS lays out specific criteria for precious metals that qualify as eligible investments for use in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). To be considered eligible, precious metals must meet certain fineness standards – gold must reach 99.5 percent purity while silver, platinum and palladium must reach.999 percent.
Most IRA-approved gold bars are produced by well-recognized private mints and sovereign mints, such as PAMP Suisse or Argor-Heraeus; whil national and international sovereign mints like Perth Mint or Royal Canadian Mint also produce bar products suited for storage within an IRA account. Bar sizes typically range from one ounce up to 1 kilogram and feature unique designs or engravings on them.
Gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion coins and bars may qualify for inclusion in an Individual Retirement Account under certain conditions. These may include being legal tender backed by a sovereign government and meeting minimum fineness standards produced by an IRA-approved refiner or assayer like NYMEX COMEX LBMA LPPM TOCOM or ISO 9000.
Proof coins tend to command a higher premium over their uncirculated or regular offerings; the exact difference depends on which coin it is. This is due to them being struck multiple times to force metal into all of the crevices of their die and create an artistic aesthetic not possible with non-proof coins.
An important distinction between traditional IRAs and precious metals IRAs lies in the fact that you do not take physical possession of their products within an IRA, instead having your custodian secure them in a depository for you. This form of asset protection plays a pivotal role in offering tax advantages through these sheltered accounts.