IRA Eligible Gold

Precious Metal IRAs allow you to hold a variety of different assets like gold. However, not all gold coins and gold bars are eligible for an IRA. The IRS has outlined some criteria and quality standards for the metal.

There are some popular gold coins and bars which are not allowed in an IRA simply because they fail to fulfill the criteria required.

After the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, investors have been finally allowed to hold precious metals in different coins minted by the U.S. Treasury Department. These include one-half, one-quarter, one-tenth- and one-ounce U.S. gold coins and 1-ounce silver coins.

Gold Eligibility Criteria

There are numerous tax benefits to holding eligible gold bullion and silver bullion products in your self-directed precious metals IRA. You can inflation-proof your portfolio by using precious metals like silver and gold as an alt. investment in your IRA. Below are the major eligibility requirements the IRS has set forth:

  • Purity: For a gold bullion product to be eligible for IRA investing, it should be 99.5% pure.
  • Storage: Gold deposited in the IRA must be contained in one of the approved depositories. These are extremely secure gold storage facilities approved by the IRS. Legitimate bullion brokers and dealers offer such depositories
  • Custodian: A custodian is mandatory as the trustee of the IRA. In most cases, the investor finds a bullion dealer to buy gold for IRA, and the dealer will help them in setting up their account with a partnered custodian and an IRS-approved depository.
  • Certification: Any coins, bards, and rounds must be produced by certified/accredited assayers, refiners, or manufacturers. These certifications can be from COMEX, NYMEX, NYSE/Life, LBMA, LME, LPPM, ISO 9000, TOCOM, or the national government mint.
  • Packaging: Proof coins should have untampered mint packaging and also have their certificate of authenticity.
  • Weight: Small bullion bars must be manufactured to precise weight specifications.

Do Not Buy Non-IRA Approved Gold

You cannot hold your gold in an IRA, the IRS does not allow it, and you can effectively ruin the tax benefits which you otherwise would’ve received. Companies like Regal Assets and Oxford Gold Group can help you set up an IRA without any hassle of storage.

Non-IRA Approved GoldIRA Approved Gold
StorageBank deposit box, home safe, or any location of your choosingIRS-approved depository
Purchase RequirmentsNoneMost companies have a minimum required investment to open an account
Shipping ChargesInsurance + Postage feesUsually covered in a/c fees
Additional CostsNo mandatory recurring feesStorage fees
IRA maintenance fee
Setup fee
Tax BenefitsNoneOnly taxed when withdrawing

Which IRA-Approved Gold Coins & Bars Perform Better Than Others?

Experienced gold investors closely follow the spot price of the precious metal. While the value of gold coins and bars stays mostly the same regardless of which company manufactured them, investors still give preference to some companies when making a transaction.

Spot Price: The current price of a security at which it can be sold or bought at a particular place and time.

Some coins get added value because of their collectability. For example, below is the spot price of gold as of 13th September 2022

American Eagle Gold Coin$1,871.37
Canadian Maple Leaf$1,823.83
American Buffalo$1,871.37
Austrian Philharmonic$1,867.05
So. African Krugerrand$1,841.13

As seen in the table above, the value of all these coins is very close to the gold spot price. We can also see that some coins like American Eagle Gold Coin are worth slightly more than their peers.

In terms of the ROI, a few dollars might not make much of a difference, but if you are planning to liquidate your gold in the future for hard cash, then some coins are much easier to sell than others. And most buyers prefer coins over small bullion bars.

Consider These 4 Things When Buying IRA-Approved Gold

Although you technically don’t need an IRA for investing in gold, the tax benefits you can get from it are worthwhile. Investment in a Roth IRA can grow tax-free and if you withdraw your funds post-retirement, the withdrawal will be tax-free as well.


-Ryan Paulson, Chief Editor,

Even then, I won’t recommend a gold IRA to everyone who is planning their retirement. Here are some factors you should keep in mind when considering investing in a gold IRA.

  • Fees: A traditional IRA is more affordable compared to a gold IRA, as gold IRAs have several recurring fees. These include annual storage fees, account maintenance fees, and sometimes even an initial set-up fee.
  • Limits On Contribution: If you are under the age of 50, then you cannot invest more than $6,000 per year in a gold IRA, and $7,000 if you are older.
  • Penalised Early Withdrawal: The IRS has imposed a 10% tax penalty if you withdraw any funds from your IRA account before age 59½. While there are always exceptions, I won’t recommend gold IRAs to someone who plans to liquidate their gold.
  • Minimum Investment Requirements: Gold IRA companies often have a minimum deposit of $30,000-$50,000. So, it has a challenging entry barrier.

IRA Eligible Gold Coins

Below are gold coins that meet the IRS’ standards:

American Gold Eagle Coin – While The American Gold Eagle coin is 91.67% pure, the weight of the coin is 1.0909 troy ounces, so it still contains 1 troy ounce of gold.
Australian Gold Kangaroo Coin – Gold Crop introduced these coins in 1987, and the Western Australian Government owned 100% of the company. These are considered legalized tenders in Australia and are quite popular among Australian IRA holders.
American Gold Buffalo Coin – These coins were released in 2006 by the United States Mint and were the first 1 oz. 99.99 gold coins. They competed fiercely with Canadian Maple Leaf.
Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coin – The classic Musikverein design of this coin makes it popular among investors. Its design features musical instruments like violin, harp, cello, French horn, and bassoon.
Canadian War of 1812 Gold Coin – The purity and weight of this coin are guaranteed by The Royal Canadian Mint, and these are extremely rare. They were issued on the bicentennial of the War of 1812. They are sold in singles or sheets of 20 by the Royal Canadian Mint itself.
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin – The Royal Canadian Mint guarantees the purity and weight of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin. You can purchase them in packs of 10 (mint tubes)
Johnson Matthey Gold Bar – These bars are comparatively harder to find than other popular gold bullion bars. But the Johnson Matthew bars are available in various denominations and are proclaimed to be some of the best gold bars available to investors. They are guaranteed to be 99.99% pure.
Credit Suisse Gold Bar – Credit Suisse mints these bars in Zurich, Switzerland. They have minimum purity levels of 99.99%.
Valcambi Gold CombiBar – These are 99.99% pure gold bars, and they can be split into 50 pieces, each piece weighing 1 gram.

Non-IRA Approved Gold Bullion Coins/Bars

If are interested in investing in gold coins and bars for your IRA portfolio, then avoid all the products listed down below. They do not meet the minimum purity levels and/or other requirements set by the IRS.

  • Chinese Panda Coins
  • Chilean 100 Peso Coins
  • French Napoleon Coins
  • Dutch 10 Guilder Coins
  • Mexican Peso Coins
  • Israel Tower of David Coins
  • South African Krugerrand coins
  • U.K. Britannia Coins
  • Swiss 20 Franc Coins
  • Somalia Elephant Coins
  • Switzerland Vreneli Coins
  • United Kingdom Queen’s Beasts Gold Coins
  • United Kingdom Sovereign Coins
  • Soviet and Russian Chervonets Coins
  • U.S. Double Eagle Gold Coins
  • French 20 Franc Gold Coins
  • Italian 20 Lira Gold Coins
  • Tristan Da Cunha Gold Double Sovereign
  • U.S. Liberty coins
  • Turkey Gold 100 Kurush
  • Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins
  • Bhutan Gold 1 Sertum Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Coins
  • Saudi Arabia Gold One Guinea Coins
  • Macau Gold Year of the Monkey Coins
  • Singapore Gold 100 Singold Coins
  • Uruguay Gold 5 Pesos
  • India Gold Sovereign George V Coins
  • Colombia Gold 5 Pesos
  • Denmark Gold 20 Kroner Frederik VIII
  • Argentina Gold 5 Pesos
  • Niue Gold Hawksbill Turtle Coins
  • Cayman Islands Gold $25
  • Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis
  • Peru Gold 100,000 Soles Miguel Grau (1979) and Peru Gold 1 Libra
  • New Zealand Gold Kiwis
  • Dominican Republic Gold 30 Pesos (1955)
  • Venezuela Gold 60 Bolivares (1955-1960)
  • Austria Gold 100 Coronas
  • Guatemala 1/2 oz Gold Tecun Uman (1965)
  • Netherlands Gold 10 Guilders
  • Germany Gold 20 Marks Prussia (1871-1913),  Germany Gold 20 Mark Bavaria Otto (1895-1913)
  • Belgium Gold 20 Francs Leopold II (1867-1914)
  • Denmark Gold 10 Kroner Snow Queen (2006), Denmark Gold 10 Kroner The Nightingale (2007)
  • The Cook Islands $100 Gold Armillary Coin Valcambi (2015 1 oz)
  • Hungary Gold 100 Korona (1908)
  • Sweden Gold 20 Kronor (Gustaf V 1920)
  • Cook Islands Year of the Monkey $200 Mother of Pearl Series Gold Coins (5 ounces)
  • 1994 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Japanese Bobtail Cat, 2001 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Somali Kittens, 1991 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Norwegian Cat, 1992 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Siamese Cat, 1995 Isle of Man 1/10 oz Gold Turkish Van Cat, 1990 Isle of Man 1 oz Gold New York Alley Cat, 1994 Isle of Man 1/5 oz Gold Japanese Bobtail Cat, 1993 Isle of Man 1/10 oz Gold Maine Coon Cat, 2001 Isle of Man 1 oz Gold Somali Kittens, 1989 Isle of Man 1 oz Gold Persian Cat
  • Isle of Man 1 oz Gold Noble (2016)
  • Yugoslavia Gold Dukat Alexander I (1931-1933)
  • Greece Gold 20 Drachmai George I (1884-A)
  • Germany 1/2 oz Gold 100 Euro Introduction of the Euro (2002) and 2007 Germany 1/2 oz Gold 100 Euro Lübeck, 2005 Germany 1/2 oz Gold 100 Euro Soccer World Cup Germany
  • Sardinia Gold 20 Lire Carlo Felice (1821-1831)
  • Serbia Gold 10 Dinara (1882)
  • Italy Gold 20 Lire Vittorio Emanuele II (1861-1878)
  • Russia Gold 15 Roubles Nicholas II (189), Russia Gold 10 Roubles Chervonets (1975-1982)
  • Monaco Gold 100 Francs Albert I (1882-1904), Monaco Gold 20 Francs Charles III (1878-1879)
  • Poland Gold 10 Zlotych Boleslaw (1925)
  • Ukraine 1/4 oz Gold Archangel Michael (2014)
  • Gibraltar Gold 1/10 oz Royal Cherubs
  • Portugal Gold 10,000 Reis King Luiz I (1878-1889), Portugal Gold 5000 Reis King Luiz I
  • Venice Gold Zecchino Ducat Pietro Grimani (1741-1752), Venice Gold Zecchino Ducat Ludovico Manin (1789-1797)
  • Vatican City Gold 100 Lire Pope Pius XI (1929)
  • Romania Gold 20 Lei 3 Kings (1944)
  • Bermuda 1 oz Proof Gold $60 Triangle (1997)
  • M PJ Spain Gold Escudo (1781)
  • Fiji 1 oz Gold $200 Taku (2012)
  • Niue 1 oz Gold $200 Hawksbill Turtle (2016)

Apart from these, you should avoid any limited edition or rare coins, as some bullion dealers try to persuade investors into purchasing these even though they are not IRA-approved. In most cases, they are highly overpriced and exorbitant, and only some of them are worth more than their asking price. Overall, it’s much safer to avoid these.

Should You Invest In IRA Approved Gold?

The benefits of investing in IRA-approved gold in an IRA, are tremendous. Unlike a 401k, you won’t be dollar-backed, so the depreciation of the currency won’t affect you detrimentally. Back when I used to help my clients with their retirement portfolios, we would often turn to platinum and gold when the dollar started to fall. It is a common pattern among investors, and when this happens, the value of gold increases as more people flock to buy it.

Gold IRA essentially makes your IRA immune to the inflation of paper currencies. While also giving you significantly more bang for your buck. Analysts speculate that gold might reach $5,000/ounce before 2030. Unlike paper currency, there is a minimal amount of gold in the world, scientists have estimated within the coming 20 years, all the discovered gold deposits will be fully mined. It is the best time to hold gold as a retirement investment and an asset.