Is Gold IRA Eligible?

Posted - November 7, 2023
is gold ira eligible

When you’re saving for retirement, every penny counts. For a growing class of investors, a traditional stock-based Individual Retirement Account (IRA) might not cut it. To gold stackers, the ideal retirement portfolio would allow them to collect the coins, bars, and rounds they like while on the road to a financially stable retirement. 

The good news is that a precious metals IRA is possible. However, precious metals IRAs are regulated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Only certain products qualify for the tax-shielding benefits that make the IRA such a lucrative way to plan for your golden years.

Is gold IRA eligible? Yes! Some gold products can be placed into a special retirement account called a self-directed precious metals IRA. With a self-directed account, you’ll get to choose every ounce of gold that goes into your portfolio while avoiding tax implications. In other words, you can indeed use gold to save for retirement. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the requirements for placing gold into your IRA. 

What is a Precious Metals IRA? 

A precious metals IRA, also known as a gold IRA, is a special type of retirement account. Traditional retirement accounts only allowed investors to set a portion of their earnings aside for investment purposes. Once you deposit money into a traditional IRA, financial experts work with you to figure out your investment goals. Over time, they invest your money into various stocks that might help you achieve these objectives. 

Precious metals IRAs are a bit different. If you have a traditional IRA, you won’t be able to add gold, silver, or platinum to your portfolio. To open a precious metals IRA, you’ll need a self-directed Individual Retirement Account. These accounts allow investors more flexibility when it comes to which investments they’re allowed to include in their retirement plan. 

When is gold IRA eligible? Once you have a self-directed IRA with a custodian who accepts precious metals, you can immediately begin funding your account and purchasing qualifying gold coins and bars for storage. 

Is Gold IRA Eligible? 

Gold is IRA eligible. In fact, there are hundreds of different gold products that you can add to your Individual Retirement Account. For new investors who might not yet have their own precious metals IRA, determining which gold products are IRA eligible can be tricky. 

Below, we’ll dive deeper into whether or not your favorite gold products are IRA eligible. 

What Gold Products are IRA Eligible? 

When investors ask us, “is gold IRA eligible,” we find that they’re usually wondering about whether specific products can be included in their existing IRA. 

There’s a couple of things to cover here. First, you can’t just add gold to the retirement account that you already have. If your account happens to be a self-directed precious metals IRA, you can add as much gold as you’d like to your savings. But for most people, what you have is probably a traditional IRA. Because these accounts aren’t self-directed, they cannot accept gold products. 

Second, only some gold products are IRA eligible. With the exception of a few American coins, the IRS sets strict standards for how pure a gold product can be in order to be IRA eligible. Additionally, gold coins and bars from certain mints might not be eligible, even if they are pure enough. This is because of another big regulation on precious metals retirement accounts placed by the IRS. We’ll get to that in a couple subsections! 

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

For now, we’ll opt to take a look at the eligibility requirements for gold IRAs set by the IRS. 

IRA Gold Eligibility Requirements

Is gold IRA eligible? For a gold product to be eligible for use in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), it needs to meet two main standards. First, the product must be sufficiently pure. Second, the mint producing the gold product must be either a national, government mint or be certified by a major accreditation company. 

IRA Gold Purity Standards

If you’re wondering, “is gold IRA eligible,” then purity is the first place you need to check. Most coins and bars display their purity on either the obverse (front) or reverse (back). Purity is usually stated as a decimal. .9999 pure, for instance, means that the product is 99.99% actual gold. 

For 2023, the IRA requires that all gold IRA contributions have a gold purity of 99.5% or higher. Because we don’t really see many coins with a purity of .996-.998, this means that your IRA eligible gold coins or bars will probably be either .999 or .9999 fine. 

This isn’t much of a hurdle. Most of the gold coins Hero Bullion sells meet this standard. Some popular coins, including the fan-favorite Gold Krugerrand, are only 91.67% pure. These coins are not IRA eligible, even if you’ve successfully opened up a self-directed precious metals Individual Retirement Account. 

Manufacturer Certification 

The mint behind your gold bar or coin also has a lot to do with whether or not it is IRA eligible. Is gold IRA eligible when produced by a private mint? Certain private mints may manufacture IRA eligible gold, but they’ll need to jump through some hoops to get the coveted nod from the IRS. 

Generally, the easiest way to buy IRA eligible gold is to buy from government mints. Usually, gold coins that meet the fineness requirement and are minted from government sources are eligible for IRA inclusion. 

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

The IRS rules for which gold coins are IRA eligible are a bit complicated. On the Hero Bullion website, you’ll find a convenient list of our IRA eligible products. The general rule of thumb is that you’ll likely be able to add popular government gold coins to your precious metals IRA as long as these coins meet the purity standards established by the IRS. 

Exceptions for American Gold

As we hinted earlier in this guide, there are a few important exceptions to the purity standards set by the Internal Revenue Service. Is gold IRA eligible if it’s from the United States Mint? Yes! Gold coins produced by the U.S. Mint can be added to your gold IRA. 

Interestingly enough, American Gold Eagles were once the only gold product that people could add to a precious metals IRA. This changed in the past few decades, and you’re now able to add a whole slew of gold, platinum, silver, and even palladium products to your portfolio. 

Perhaps it’s just a holdover from earlier U.S. laws, or maybe the IRS wants to motivate more Americans to purchase coins minted by their own government. In either case, investors need to know that gold is IRA eligible if it’s produced by the United States Mint. If you’re still looking to answer the question, “is gold IRA eligible” for different coins, things get a bit more messy. 

How to Open a Gold IRA

If you’re searching, “is gold IRA eligible,” chances are you have questions about how to open a gold IRA. The process might seem complicated, especially for investors who are used to the relatively straightforward process of investing in a traditional Retirement Savings Account. 

The great news is that starting a precious metals IRA account isn’t actually super difficult. It involves just a couple of key steps. To open your own precious metals IRA account to store qualified gold purchases, you need to start with a self-directed retirement savings account. 

What is a Self Directed IRA? 

A self-directed IRA is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Traditional retirement accounts allow you a minimal level of input in the specific investments that are purchased with your funds. In other words, you’ll let your custodian know which types of investments you want, and they’ll handle the rest. 

With a self-directed IRA, you’re the main person in control of where your retirement funds go. Is gold IRA eligible in a self-directed IRA? Gold is sometimes eligible for inclusion in a self-directed IRA. Some investors believe that all self-directed retirement plans allow you to purchase gold for investment purposes. This is not the case. 

Still, having a self-directed IRA is the first step in how to open a gold IRA. Is gold IRA eligible? For certain self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts, gold can be used as an investment. 

Finding a Trustworthy Custodian 

As you probably already know, an IRA is a special retirement account. Instead of physically owning your stocks, bonds, or other investments, these purchases are executed and safeguarded by a financial expert or institution called a custodian. For a gold IRA, you’ll need to find a custodian who specializes in precious metals. 

1 oz Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coin Obverse
1 oz Austrian Gold Philharmonic

Some custodians won’t work with precious metals, even if they have a self-directed option for their Individual Retirement Accounts. Is gold IRA eligible with your custodian? Financial experts should help you answer questions like this one. But generally, self-directed IRAs are necessary for people who want to include precious metals like gold in their investment accounts. 

Funding Your IRA Account

After you’ve identified a custodian and opened a self-directed gold IRA, it’s time to fund your account. The funding part of the IRA process is pretty straightforward, so we won’t spend too much time talking about it. 

There are limits to how much gold you can buy for your precious metals IRA each year. For the year 2023, you can contribute a maximum of $6,500 per year to your gold IRA account. If you’re over the age of fifty, you can add an additional $1,000 to that sum. 

Is gold IRA eligible if you’ve reached the contribution limit? Unfortunately, no. Once you’ve contributed (funded) your account with the limit, you’ll be unable to buy additional gold past that monetary amount. 

Identifying IRA Eligible Gold Products

Is gold IRA eligible on the Hero Bullion website? Popular precious metals dealers like Hero Bullion sell a variety of IRA eligible gold products to help you better save for your future. Visit our site catalog to learn more about our IRA eligible gold products. 

When you browse a dealer’s inventory, be sure to look out for the “IRA eligible” designation. On our site, we include this under the bolded key features section toward the middle of each product description. We understand that you need to know, “is gold IRA eligible” for your favorite gold products – and we’ve got you covered! 

RCM 1 oz Gold Bar
Royal Canadian Mint 1 oz Gold Bar

Why Open a Gold IRA? 

There’s a reason why a growing number of investors are turning to gold IRAs for their retirement futures. Is gold IRA eligible, and why should you open a gold IRA? Gold retirement accounts come with several major benefits, and we’ll take a look at these advantages below. 

Tax Benefits of Precious Metal IRAs

Like all Individual Retirement Accounts, you gain significant tax benefits by investing in your precious metal IRA. The main advantage to the traditional IRA system is that you don’t pay capital gains taxes on your investments while they’re maturing. And when you decide to pull your money out, you also save considerably on taxes. Is gold IRA eligible?

When new investors ask us “is gold IRA eligible,” they usually have at least a few questions about how to leverage a gold IRA to save for retirement. The great news for retirement planners is that the precious metals IRA follows the same tax regulations as a traditional IRA. That’s right – you won’t pay taxes on your gold while investing in a self-directed gold IRA. 

Are Gold IRAs a Good Idea?  

A gold IRA can be an excellent investment, depending on your own financial goals and preferences. It’s worth noting that gold IRAs might not be as profitable as a traditional IRA, especially if the stock market performs well while your investment matures. 

But for some collectors, a gold IRA represents the opportunity to take greater control over their financial future. 

Final Thoughts: Is Gold IRA Eligible? 

So is gold IRA eligible? The answer is yes, but with a few restrictions. For gold to be IRA eligible, it needs to meet certain criteria. Gold needs to be at least 99.95% pure or be minted by the United States Mint before you can add it to your self-directed precious metals Individual Retirement Account. 

Still have questions about investing in a gold IRA? Our dedicated team of experts is happy to help!

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About The Author

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