With the dollar growing weaker and recent instabilities in our financial system, many are looking to diversify their retirement holdings with gold or other precious metals. Often, the best way to do this is through a gold IRA.
But you have to be careful—only certain types of gold coins and gold bars are allowed in your IRA. In fact, many popular gold coins and bars in circulation are not eligible to be used as investments.
What Is IRA Eligible Gold?
IRA eligible gold is bullion that is approved for use as an investment in a retirement account. The IRS has established specific requirements for what you can and can’t use.
Here are the main requirements for IRA approved gold:
- The gold coin or bar must be above 0.995% purity.
- It must be stored in an IRS-approved depository. The firm handling your gold IRA will have a preferred depository.
- The IRA must have a custodian who is appointed as the trustee. Typically, the company that offers your self-directed precious metals IRA will be the trustee, and they will have a depository and a list of dealers who they work with and trust.
What Gold Coins or Bars Are Safe to Invest In?
Here are some popular bars and coins that meet the requirements for IRA eligible gold:
American Gold Eagle: Technically, these coins are a little below the purity requirements, but they still contain sufficient troy ounces of gold to be considered eligible.
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf: The Royal Canadian Mint guarantees these coins are an eligible purity and weight. They typically come in packs of ten.
American Gold Buffalo: Introduced in 2006, the US government guarantees these 24-karat gold bullion coins.
Credit Suisse Gold Bars: The world-renowned Credit Suisse mint produces these gold bars. All meet minimum purity requirements of 99.99%.
Johnson Matthey Gold Bars: Though less frequently available than other bars, these come in a variety of denominations and are widely considered one of the finest gold bars on the market.
Some additional popular choices include the Australian Gold Kangaroo, the Austrian Gold Philharmonic, and the Valcambi Gold CombiBar.
Many other bars and coins meet the IRS eligibility requirements and are safe to invest in. Before purchasing a bar or coin, always do a little research to ensure that it meets all the requirements so it isn't considered a collectible.
Can I Invest in Collectible Coins?
You are welcome to purchase collectible coins as an investment on their own, but they cannot be included as part of your gold or precious metals IRA. Most collectible coins fall below the minimum purity requirements.
You need to be careful about buying unapproved coins. The IRS will consider it a withdrawal and charge you income tax on it, as well as hitting you with a 10% penalty if you are still younger than 59.5 years old.
Here are some popular coins which are not approved to be part of your IRA:
- Chinese Panda coins
- Israel Tower of David coins
- French Napoleon coins
- South African Krugerrand coins
- Switzerland Vreneli coins
- USSR Chevronet coins
- Somalia Elephant coins
- Austrian Corona
- Russia's George the Victorious coins
- British Britannia coins
- Mexican Gold Peso coins
- Chilean 100 Peso
- Dutch 10 Guilder
- French 20 Franc
- Italian Lira coins
- U.S. Liberty coins
- Mexican 50 Peso
Want to Know More?
Diversifying into precious metals such as gold and silver can protect your retirement savings against inflation and help ensure your wealth descends to your heirs intact.
But it’s important to know all of the rules and regulations first.
If you want to know more, consider our free gold IRA investment guide. Click the link below to get started and see if investing in gold and precious metals is right for you.