Are Precious Metals IRA Eligible?

Posted - October 13, 2023
are precious metals ira eligible

When you’re saving for retirement, you have a few different options. Most employees tend to go with the traditional IRA. Also known as an Individual Retirement Account, these long-term savings accounts accrue interest over time to help you better plan for retirement. The best part? IRA contributions and interest gains aren’t taxed until you begin to withdraw from the account! 

But for our precious metal stacking friends, there is another option. Are precious metals IRA eligible? The short answer: yes! Certain precious metal purchases can be IRA eligible. This means that you can actually stack precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum to plan for your eventual retirement. 

Retirement can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. We believe that bullion buyers should know all the facts before purchasing new products for their portfolios. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on everything you need to know about investing in precious metals using your Individual Retirement Account. 

Understanding Precious Metals IRA

A precious metals IRA works similarly to a regular Individual Retirement Account. As you might guess, the main difference is that this unique form of IRA allows investors to collect precious metals for their account instead of cash. 

In a traditional IRA, you set up an account using a bank or investment broker. They consult with you on which investments to include in the IRA. Most investment brokers provide guided investment options, which means that they’ll help you find the right investments to match your goals and time horizon

What is a Precious Metals IRA? 

A precious metals IRA works just a little bit differently. In order to add precious metals to your Individual Retirement Account, you’ll need a self-directed IRA. Regular Individual Savings Accounts have a number of regulations about what can – and what can’t – be included in the investment portfolio. 

Are precious metals IRA eligible? In traditional IRA systems, the answer is no. But by opening a self-directed IRA, you’ll be able to include types of investments that are prohibited in traditional IRAs. 

2023 1 oz American Gold Eagle Coin Reverse
1 oz American Gold Eagle

How do you open a self-directed precious metals IRA? The first step is to find an IRA custodian that accepts SDIRAs, or Self-Directed IRAs. Not all SDIRA custodians accept precious metal investments, so you’ll also need to find one that does before starting your precious metals IRA. 

Benefits of Investing in Precious Metals Through an IRA

Are precious metals IRA eligible? They are, and there are several benefits to investing in precious metals through an IRA. Collecting gold, silver, and platinum with an IRA is different from filling your personal safe with coins and bars. 

First, opening a precious metals IRA means that you likely won’t ever physically own your precious metals. Once you’ve designated a custodian and secured storage, the custodian will be responsible for obtaining and monitoring your investments. 

This doesn’t mean that you don’t own your gold and silver. In a precious metals IRA, you own precious metals in the same way you own your cash in a traditional Individual Retirement Account. 

Types of Precious Metals Allowed in IRAs

Are precious metals IRA eligible, and what types of products are allowed? We’ll take a deep dive into IRA eligible precious metals later in this guide. But for now, you should understand that there are four main precious metals that are IRA eligible: gold, silver, platinum and palladium. 

Eligibility Criteria

Like regular IRAs, there are certain eligibility requirements for both investments and chosen custodians. In order to open a self-directed precious metals IRA, you must identify and appoint a custodian who is licensed and able to offer this type of retirement account. 

Who can Open a Precious Metals IRA? 

Anyone eligible for a traditional IRA can open a precious metals IRA. There is no age requirement for opening an IRA. Even young students can open an Individual Retirement Account, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRA). The same rule applies to a precious metals IRA, which is just a unique twist on the original investment system. 

Are precious metals IRA eligible, and who can open a precious metals IRA? Anyone can open a precious metals IRA, provided that they appoint a qualified and licensed custodian to handle their account. 

Contribution Limits for Precious Metals in an IRA

Contribution limits for a precious metals IRA are the same as the limits set for traditional Individual Retirement Accounts. As of 2023, you can contribute up to $6,500 in precious metals to your precious metals IRA. If you’re over the age of 50, you’re able to add $1,000 to that, making the total contribution limit $7,500 per year. 

The IRS also sets strict guidelines for the size of coins eligible for a precious metals IRA. Are precious metals IRA eligible if they’re kilo coins? No. The IRA limits gold contribution to 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz, and full 1 oz coins. 

IRA Eligible Precious Metals

Are precious metals IRA eligible? Most precious metal investments are IRA eligible. But the eligibility of your favorite coins or bars depends on a number of factors. Below, we’ll explain which precious metals are IRA eligible, according to the IRS. 

List of IRA Approved Precious Metals

Are precious metals IRA eligible for your account? There are 4 types of precious metals that are IRA eligible: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. We’ll take a closer look at these four IRA eligible precious metals below. 

2023 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
1 oz Gold Canadian Maple


Precious metals IRAs are often known as “gold IRAs.” While the term might seem to suggest that only gold can be collected in preparation for your tax-sheltered retirement benefits, it’s actually used as an umbrella term to describe accounts with a combination of different metals. 

But gold is a key part of almost every investor’s portfolio. Are precious metals IRA eligible if they’re made of .9999 fine gold? Gold precious metal products are IRA eligible, provided that they don’t meet the ineligibility requirements laid out by the IRS. 


Silver products are also IRA eligible. Certain silver products can be added to your precious metals IRA. This is great for investors who want to diversify their portfolio. Because Individual Retirement Accounts are long-term investments, the value of a given precious metal could decrease significantly before the account reaches maturity. 

This means that investors who are smart often choose to add several precious metals to their portfolio. That way, you’d potentially be protected from a crash in one metal’s price, provided that your other metals continue to perform well. 


Are precious metals IRA eligible if they’re made from platinum? Platinum is a common contribution to self-directed precious metals IRAs. You can use platinum to expand your portfolio and add diversity. Platinum is also cheaper than gold, which allows investors to buy a higher quantity of products for their IRA without going over the limit set by the Internal Revenue Service. 

When you continue to research questions like, “are precious metals IRA eligible,” it’s important to keep diversification in mind. Never place all your eggs in one basket! 

1 oz American Platinum Eagle - Random Date
1 oz American Platinum Eagle


There was a time when the IRS restricted precious metals IRA holders to only adding select American products to their portfolios. Initially, the ruling from the Internal Revenue Service was that investors could only add American silver and gold coins to their retirement accounts. But those days are long gone! 

Today, even palladium can be added to a precious metals IRA. Not all palladium products qualify for use in a precious metals Individual Retirement Account. Are precious metals IRA eligible for palladium products? Certain palladium products, including U.S. Mint palladium coins, are IRA eligible. 

Purity Requirements for Eligible Metals

The IRS sets strict regulations for the purity of precious metals allowed in a precious metals IRA. Are precious metals IRA eligible if they’re only .9167 pure? Generally, no. There’s one exception to the precious metal purity regulations: the U.S. Mint bullion coins. Because these coins are minted by the United States government, you are permitted to collect them in your precious metals IRA. 

Outside of this exception, purity standards are relatively strict. Unfortunately, .9167 fine gold coins like the Gold Krugerrand are not IRA eligible. 

Here are the current standards set by the IRS to determine which bullion products can be included in your precious metals IRA:

  • Gold: 99.5% pure.
  • Silver: 99.9% pure. 
  • Platinum: 99.95% pure. 
  • Palladium: 99.95% pure. 

When are precious metals IRA eligible? As long as a coin meets these standards and isn’t disqualified by one of the rules we’ll discuss below, it is eligible for inclusion in your precious metals Individual Retirement Account. 

Prohibited Precious Metals

Are precious metals IRA eligible in every situation? No. Not all precious metals are IRA eligible. As we explained above, the IRS sets strict regulations on the purity of precious metal items that are eligible for inclusion in your self-directed precious metals Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. Let’s take a look at some of these IRA ineligible precious metals below. 

Metals Ineligible for an IRA

Two main categories of otherwise qualifying precious metals are ineligible for use in your precious metals IRA. Are precious metals IRA eligible in all forms? Absolutely not. In fact, a solid majority of coins, bars, and rounds are actually not allowed to be used as contributions to your tax-shielded Individual Retirement Account. 

Collectible Coins 

This one is a bit tricky. The term collectible coins can refer to a wide range of bullion coins. Some coins that do meet the purity requirement for precious metals IRA eligibility might eventually be considered collectable because of their scarcity. But in general, coins that are valued primarily for their collectability are not IRA eligible. 

Numismatic Coins 

Numismatic coins are valued more for their collectability than just their precious metal content. The point of an IRA is to build retirement funds based on the value of precious metals. As metals increase in value over time, your precious metals IRA will become more valuable. 

It makes sense, then, that the IRS would not allow collectors to place coins with little precious metal content in their portfolios. Are precious metals IRA eligible if they’re considered numismatic coins? The answer is an unfortunate no. 

Steps to Opening a Precious Metals IRA

There are 2 main steps to opening a precious metals IRA. After you choose an IRA custodian, your next step is to fund your IRA account. Funding a precious metals IRA account is functionally the same as funding a regular account. You’ll put money in, just like you would with any other Individual Retirement Account. 

2024 1 oz British Gold Britannia Coin
2024 1 oz Gold Britannia

Choosing an IRA Custodian 

Choosing the right IRA custodian can be tricky. With a regular IRA, you’ll need to find a custodian who is certified to serve as a custodian for an Individual Retirement Account. There’s a twist when you’re looking to open a precious metals IRA, though. 

Not all custodians do self-directed accounts, which you’ll need for a precious metals IRA. Even among custodians that do offer self-direction services, most don’t do precious metals. Your goal is to find a custodian that allows self-directed precious metals Individual Retirement Accounts. 

Funding Your IRA Account

Your next step is to fund the account! A certified custodian can accept your cash and then use that cash to purchase the precious metals you love to fund your account. Are precious metals IRA eligible? They certainly are, depending on the specific product you want to purchase. Your custodian can help guide you through the process.

Choosing the Right Custodian 

Bullion companies can provide you with advice when you have questions like, “are precious metals IRA eligible.” We recommend shopping around before you settle on the right custodian. First, make sure that the custodian you choose offers self-directed IRAs. A self-directed Individual Requirement Account is required for anyone who wants to open a precious metals IRA. 

Additionally, look for custodians with experience and connections in the precious metals industry. These experts may be able to help you better meet your investment goals. Are precious metals IRA eligible? Your financial advisor can help you figure out if your favorite coins are eligible for a precious metals IRA. 

Final Thoughts: Are Precious Metals IRA Eligible? 

So are precious metals IRA eligible? For many coins and bars, the answer is yes. In order to be IRA eligible, a precious metal product needs to meet certain requirements. Coins need to be above a certain purity and cannot be numismatic or collectable coins. Investors setting up a precious metals IRA need to find a custodian capable of handling that kind of account. 

You might also be interested in: 

About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.