What Types of Gold Can You Invest in With a Gold IRA vs a Traditional IRA?

When considering diversifying your retirement savings into precious metals, one key question is: What types of physical gold bullion and coins can you hold in a gold IRA compared to a traditional IRA? While traditional IRAs restrict investment to paper assets, gold IRAs allow much more diverse exposure to gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Overview of Traditional IRA Investment Options

Traditional IRAs provide account holders the ability to invest in a wide array of paper-based assets including:

  • Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and other securities
  • Options, futures, REITs, and other alternative paper investments
  • Money market funds, CDs, and other IRA-eligible cash equivalents
  • Certain non-traditional assets like tax liens and private business equity

But direct investment in physical precious metals bullion is generally prohibited in a standard IRA.

IRS-Approved Gold and Metals for Self-Directed IRAs

Gold IRAs provide a way to diversify into direct ownership of precious metals. However, the IRS has strict rules on which gold products can be included in IRAs. Allowed gold IRA investments include:


  • American Gold Eagle bullion coins in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz
  • American Gold Buffalo bullion coins
  • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins
  • Australian Gold Kangaroo coins
  • UK Gold Britannia coins
  • Gold bars and rounds manufactured by NYMEX/COMEX-approved refiners


  • American Silver Eagle 1 oz coins
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf 1 oz coins
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonic 1 oz coins
  • Other silver coins meet minimum .999 fineness levels
  • Silver rounds and bars from NYMEX/COMEX-approved mints

Platinum and Palladium

  • American Platinum Eagle coins
  • American Palladium Eagle coins
  • Platinum and palladium bars and rounds from approved producers

Gold IRA Allocation Recommendations

  • 50% in physical gold
  • 30% in physical silver
  • 10% in physical platinum
  • 10% in physical palladium

This allows exposure to each metal’s unique investment properties while maximizing overall IRA diversification.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Precious Metals

Some key considerations when selecting physical gold IRA investments:

  • Mint of Origin – Coins/bars from recognized government mints carry higher premiums but also higher resale value
  • Pricing – Comparison shop gold IRA providers to find the best deal on specific bullion products
  • Liquidity – Certain gold products like American Eagles may be easier to sell than rare coins
  • Storage Costs – Metals like platinum and palladium often have higher insurance fees and vaulting expenses
  • Personal Preferences – Choose gold coins and metals aligned with your interests, like wildlife-themed coins

Benefits of Physical Gold IRAs

The wide selection of IRS-approved gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products is a major advantage of gold IRAs over traditional IRAs limited to paper assets. Benefits include:

  • Tangible asset ownership of real precious metals as opposed to paper claims
  • Protection against inflation and currency devaluation
  • Portfolio diversification away from stocks and bonds
  • Potential for significant appreciation over time
  • Hedging against systemic financial risks

Getting Started with a Gold IRA

Work closely with a reputable gold IRA custodian to build a tailored blend of physical precious metals tailored to your outlook, risk tolerance, and retirement goals. A properly structured gold IRA provides a way to gain exposure to gold and other metals as part of a long-term retirement savings plan.

What Types of Gold Can You Invest in With a Gold IRA vs a Traditional IRA?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the IRS impose any purity standards for gold IRA coins or bars?

A: Yes, gold must be .995+ fine, silver must be .999+ fine, and platinum and palladium must be .9995+ fine. Reputable mints meet these standards.

Q: Can I store gold IRA metals at home?

A: No, IRS rules require gold IRAs to be stored at an approved secured depository custodian to maintain tax benefits.

Q: Are gold ETFs and mining stocks allowed in a gold IRA?

A: No, only physical bullion such as approved coins and bars can be held in a self-directed gold IRA.

Q: Can I use gold jewelry or numismatic coins in my gold IRA?

A: No, the IRS prohibits gold jewelry, art, and rare/collectible coins in gold IRAs. Only bullion meets the rules.

Q: How often can I request gold IRA asset transfers or liquidations?

A: You can request transactions and rebalance your gold IRA metals at any time. Fees may apply to frequent transactions.


IRS Gold IRA Rules: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-faqs-on-designated-roth-accounts#rollovers

Gold IRA Allowed Investments: https://www.thebalance.com/the-gold-allowed-in-an-ira-4562761

Precious Metals IRA Storage: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/082515/how-set-precious-metals-ira.asp

Gold IRA Asset Allocation: https://thousandaire.com/gold-ira/

Investing in Gold IRAs as a Beginner: https://www.goldco.com/blog/investing-in-gold-iras-beginners-guide/