About IRA-Eligible Gold

The IRS allows you to purchase various coins for storage within a self-directed individual retirement account (SDIRA). They understand gold coins physically stand the test of time and benefit from a strong market.  

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 expanded the number of gold coins eligible for inclusion within a SDIRA. For example, IRA gold coins must be at least 99.5% pure gold. They must also be legal tender. 

When buying gold, it’s essential to purchase coins manufactured and guaranteed by a government entity, such as the United States or Canadian governments. These governments guarantee the quantity and quality of the coins’ metal contents. They also guarantee the coins’ face value, which can vary greatly depending on their weight and style. 

IRA-Approved Gold Coins

The following are IRA-approved gold coins available for purchase by most investors for a gold IRA:  

Moose Gold Bullion Coins

The Moose Gold Bullion Coin is a must-have for lovers of animals, nature, and art. The Royal Canadian Mint’s production of this coin began in 2022 as the sixth issue of the Animal Portrait Series. Other details include: 

  • Reverse-side detail featuring a bull moose 
  • Right profile of the British monarch on the opposite side 

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Great-Horned Owl Gold Bullion Coins

The Great-Horned Owl Gold Bullion Coin is a 2021-dated coin from the Royal Canadian Mint. Coin highlights include: 

  • Reverse-proof specimens 
  • ¼ Troy ounce of .9999 pure gold 
  • Face value of $10 (CAD) 
  • Obverse side profile of Queen Elizabeth II 
  • Stunning owl design on the reverse side 

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Woodland Caribou Bullion Coins 

Woodland Caribou Bullion Coins feature the majestic woodland Caribou on the coin’s reverse side. Minted in 2020 by the Royal Canadian Mint, these Canadian Gold Proof Coins are available to purchase with individual protective plastic flips, mint tubes, or Monster Boxes with 800 coins. Each coin features frosted background fields and mirrored design elements. 

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Canadian Wild Horse Bullion Coins

Canadian Wild Horse Gold Bullion Coins feature the majestic Canadian Wild Horse on their reverse side. This Royal Canadian Mint-produced coin entered circulation in 2019. Other features include: 

  • 99.99% pure gold 
  • Obverse right profile of the British monarch 

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Wolverine Gold Bullion Coins

The Wolverine Gold Bullion Coin, produced by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2018, features a stunning wolverine portrait on its reverse side. This .9999 pure gold coin is one of the purest on the market. 

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Bighorn Sheep Gold Bullion Coins

The Bighorn Sheep Gold Bullion Coin from Canadian artist Denis Mayer, minted in 2017, comes from the Royal Canadian Mint and features an obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The coin is 99.99% pure gold. 

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American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins

The U.S. Mint first issued the American Gold Eagle Bullion Coin in 1986, and it has been a staple of gold collectors’ investments ever since. This IRS-approved coin—minted exclusively with gold that has been mined in the United States—is one of the most popular in the world. 

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American Gold Eagle Proof Coins

The American Gold Eagle Proof Coin, introduced by the U.S. Government in 1986, is the only coin of this type that may be used for IRAs. This coin has a unique mirror-like finish thanks to a special minting process with planchets. 

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Canadian $10 Gold Polar Bear and Cub

The Canadian $10 Gold Polar Bear and Cub Coin is 99.99% pure gold and has been approved by the IRS to be included in self-directed IRAs or Gold IRAs. This ¼ oz coin features a stunning design of the Polar Bear in the wilderness. 

American Buffalo Coins

First minted in 2006, the American Buffalo Coin is a $50 gold bullion coin that makes an excellent entry point for investors as an inexpensive option. 

American Buffalo Proof Coins

Much like the American Buffalo Coin, this 2006-W $50 Proof coin was minted in West Point and features a mirrored finish thanks to its unique minting process.  

Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins

First minted in 1989, the Austrian Gold Philharmonic Bullion Coins were the best-selling gold coins in the world in 1992, 1995, and 1996 according to the World Gold Council. Each Austrian Philharmonic contains 1 ounce of .9999 fine gold and a 100 Euro domination.  

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

One of Canada’s most popular gold coins, the Royal Canadian Mint first minted the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin in 1979. This 24-karat gold coin includes up to 99.99% pure gold and has been approved for self-directed IRAs or Gold IRAs by the IRS.  

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How to Buy Gold Coins for Your IRA

To buy IRA-approved gold coins for a precious metals retirement account, you must first identify a gold IRA custodian to hold the assets for you. You can then open a gold IRA account. You may add funds to your account to purchase gold via a rollover from an existing account. 

As a broker, Advantage Gold helps you purchase precious metals for holding within a custodial account and storage at an IRS-approved depository.

You have 60 days to withdraw and transfer funds into your new account. Otherwise, you’ll pay a penalty of 10% for early withdrawal. The best way to avoid this fee is to let your gold IRA company coordinate the asset transfer. 

Funding a gold IRA with cash isn’t recommended because you’ll already have paid taxes on that money, and the point of IRA investment is to capture tax advantages. 

Remember, all coins purchased must remain in the custody of an approved party to be part of an IRA. For investment purposes, taking direct delivery of the coins is the same as taking a withdrawal from your account and is subject to applicable fees and taxes. 


If you’re new to investing with a gold IRA, learn how to roll over your existing 401(k), IRA, or another retirement account into a secure gold IRA. Find out how to protect your wealth and hedge against inflation by owning precious metals in your retirement account.

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