Precious Metals IRA Rules: What You Need to Know

Are you considering investing in precious metals for retirement? Self-directed IRAs, or precious metal IRAs, offer investors the opportunity to diversify their retirement investments with gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

But there’s a lot to consider before jumping in – from eligibility requirements to storage regulations. Luckily, we can help answer all your questions about setting up a self-directed IRA and following IRS rules.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about precious metals IRAs – from understanding eligibility and storage requirements to selecting custodians and dealers and navigating the purchasing process as well as tax considerations.


Precious Metal IRAs offer an exciting and unique way to diversify your retirement portfolio, but you must stick to the rules set by the IRS or risk serious consequences!

The precious metals that are allowed in a self-directed IRA are gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These metals must meet specific purity standards set by the IRS for their use in a retirement account.

Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Australian Koala bullion coins, and PAMP Suisse bars may be held in these accounts as they meet these standards. Rare or collectible coins such as Swiss Francs, British Sovereigns, and German Marks cannot be held in a self-directed IRA.

Precious metal IRAs have the same contribution limits as regular IRAs but require custodians to store them securely at an approved depository.

Experts recommend investing no more than 5% to 10% of retirement funds in precious metals for safety reasons; portfolios should be well diversified with other investments like bonds or TIPS providing better security.

Opening a self-directed IRA is expensive due to setup fees, transaction fees, custodial fees, and physical asset storage costs; furthermore, storing precious metals owned in an IRA at home is prohibited by the IRS.

You also need to select a dealer belonging to industry trade groups like ANA or ICTA when making purchases and choose which products such as American Eagle Bullion Coins you want to invest in with guidance from your account provider.

When withdrawing from a precious metal IRA, there are two options: an in-kind distribution or a depository purchase. Those with concerns about inflation and market volatility may find this option suitable, but it comes with added risks, so should not be considered solely as an investment strategy; ETFs and mutual funds tracking indexes of precious metal prices provide easier exposure without needing a special type of IRA account.

Precious metal IRAs should only make up part of any overall portfolio plan while being aware of taxes when distributions occur, including RMDs taken after age 72, which can be complex due to interval matching whole pieces owned at that time requiring cash available for tax payments on distributed metals if applicable.


You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for a self-directed precious metal IRA, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the requirements. To open an account, you must be at least 18 years of age and have earned income in the year prior.

You must also select a custodian who’s approved by the IRS and has experience in handling these types of accounts. The custodian will handle all transactions, storage, and reporting related to your precious metals IRA.

The IRS requires that only certain types of metals can be held in a self-directed IRA. These include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins or bars that meet specific purity standards set by the IRS.

Examples of products that meet those standards are Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Australian Koala bullion coins, and PAMP Suisse bars. Rare or collectible coins like Swiss Francs, British Sovereigns, and German Marks aren’t allowed in a self-directed IRA.

Experts recommend investing no more than 5%-10% of retirement funds into physical metals due to their volatility and lack of liquidity compared to other investments like stocks or bonds. Precious metal IRAs require setup fees plus transaction fees as well as custodial fees for storage in a secure depository facility approved by the IRS – which means you can’t store them at home – making them more expensive than other investment options.

Opening a self-directed IRA allows you access to alternative investments including real estate and cryptocurrency alongside traditional assets such as stocks and bonds but should still form just part of your overall investment strategy rather than being its sole focus.

It’s important to understand all associated costs before committing any money along with taking into account tax implications when withdrawing funds from an account containing physical gold or silver assets.

Storage Requirements

When investing in precious metals for retirement, you need to know the storage requirements of an IRA. The IRS prohibits storing your metals at home and requires that they be stored in an approved depository. It is important to choose a custodian who is compliant with IRS regulations and has experience managing precious metals IRAs.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Custodian:
  • Select a custodian that’s authorized by the IRS to hold physical assets like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
  • Ask about their experience with precious metal investments and other alternative assets like real estate or cryptocurrency.
  • Depository:
  • Choose a secure depository that meets the standards set by the IRS. Talk to your custodian about this as they may have preferred providers.
  • Make sure any depository selected has insurance coverage for your assets in case of theft or damage.

You should also get advice from experts on how much of your retirement funds should be invested in precious metals—generally no more than 5–10%. Precious metal IRAs can add diversity to your portfolio but should not be its sole focus due to their higher risk profile and costs associated with storage and administration fees.


Finding the right custodian is essential for successful precious metal investing, so make sure you do your research. A custodian holds and safeguards physical metals in a secure storage facility for precious metal IRAs.

The IRS mandates that these metals must be held by an approved custodian to qualify for tax-deferred status under the IRA rules. When selecting a custodian, there are several factors to consider such as fees, storage location, customer service, and experience with precious metals.

Custodians are responsible for purchasing and storing the metals on behalf of the investor. They must also adhere to IRS regulations related to purity standards and acceptable types of metals.

Common examples of products that meet these requirements include Canadian Maple Leaf coins, Australian Koala bullion coins, and PAMP Suisse bars. Rare or collectible coins like Swiss Francs, British Sovereigns, and German Marks cannot be held in a self-directed IRA.

When researching potential custodians it’s important to look at their credentials and compare them against other services available in the market. Check if they belong to industry trade groups like ANA (American Numismatic Association), ICTA (Industry Council for Tangible Assets), or PNG (Professional Numismatists Guild). Also ask about fees associated with setup costs, transaction charges, physical asset storage fees, etc., before you decide on one particular provider.

Having chosen a custodian who meets your needs, you can then work with them to select which precious metal products you want to buy – such as American Eagle Bullion Coins – ensuring they meet all IRS requirements regarding purity standards.

Once purchased should not be stored at home but rather in an approved depository listed by your chosen provider; this will ensure compliance with IRS regulations relating to precious metals IRAs.

Precious metal IRAs offer investors alternative assets that may protect from inflation while diversifying their portfolio; however, it’s important not to rely solely on this option but instead use it judiciously as part of well-constructed portfolios that include other investments such as high-quality bonds or Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).

Do your due diligence when selecting a custodian so you can invest confidently knowing your retirement funds are safe and secure!


Once you’ve selected a custodian, the next step is to choose a precious metals dealer. When it comes to buying your metal, you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Here are some tips for finding the right dealer:

  • Look for dealers that belong to industry trade groups like ANA (American Numismatic Association), ICTA (Industry Council for Tangible Assets), or PNG (Professional Numismatists Guild). These organizations require their members to adhere to strict ethical standards and provide consumer protection guarantees.
  • Ask about fees and shipping costs upfront so there aren’t any surprises later on.
  • Check customer reviews online before making your decision.
  • Make sure the dealer offers a variety of products so you can pick the one that best fits your needs.
  • Read up on different types of bullion coins and bars offered by the dealer before making any purchases.

Doing due diligence when selecting a precious metals dealer ensures you get quality products at competitive prices with excellent customer service. It’s also important to make sure they offer secure storage options if needed, as well as insurance coverage in case of theft or loss. Working with an experienced, reputable dealer will help ensure that all transactions go smoothly and securely from start to finish.

Purchasing Process

Making a precious metal investment for your retirement requires careful consideration of the purchase process. You need to choose a dealer, custodian, and depository that meets IRS regulations.

To select a dealer, look for one that belongs to industry trade groups like ANA, ICTA, or PNG. Work with them to choose which precious metal products you wish to buy such as American Eagle Bullion Coins.

When investing in an IRA, metals must be stored in an approved depository – you can’t store them yourself. Your custodian will purchase and store the metals on your behalf.

Consider all fees associated with the purchase including setup fees, transaction fees, storage costs, and more.

Before investing in precious metals, it’s important to diversify your portfolio with other investments like ETFs or mutual funds that track indexes or prices rather than relying solely on these alternative assets.

Precious metals should only make up a small portion of your overall strategy – no more than 5-10%.

Remember that when making withdrawals from an IRA invested in physical metals, there are two options: either take an in-kind distribution or have the depository purchase them back. It’s also important to remember that RMDs must still be taken when you turn 72; this may require cash available to pay taxes on distributed metals if more value is withdrawn than originally invested.

Investing in precious metals can be complicated, but done correctly, they can add diversity and stability to your retirement funds.

Tax Considerations

It’s important to consider taxes when investing in alternative assets for retirement, so make sure you understand the regulations before taking the plunge. Precious metal IRAs are subject to the same tax rules as other self-directed IRAs, including:

  • Required minimum distributions (RMDs): At age 72, a percentage of your retirement funds must be withdrawn annually and taxed. RMDs may be more complicated with precious metals, as they must be taken in intervals matching the whole pieces you own.
  • Taxes on distributed metals: You may have to withdraw more value than with U.S. dollars and have cash available to pay taxes on distributed metals.
  • Tax deductions: Contributions made to a traditional or Roth IRA may be deductible in some cases. Speak with an accountant or financial advisor about which type of IRA is best for your situation.
  • Tax rates: The IRS sets different tax rates for long-term capital gains and short-term capital gains from investments held longer or shorter than one year respectively. Long-term capital gains are generally lower than regular income tax rates so it pays to hold onto investments for at least one year before selling them off.

When opening a precious metal IRA, weigh all these factors against your investment goals and portfolio composition carefully before making any decisions. ETFs and mutual funds offer easier exposure to precious metals without the need for a special IRA but should only form part of your overall strategy – not its entirety!


You’re ready to invest in a precious metal IRA, but don’t forget to follow the rules!

You must meet eligibility requirements and store metals according to IRS regulations.

Choose an approved custodian or dealer and make sure you understand the purchasing process.

Finally, remember that there can be tax implications when it comes to distributions from your account.

With the right knowledge and preparation, you can confidently add precious metals to your retirement portfolio.