When you open a conventional individual retirement account (IRA), you have the option to invest in several different assets as part of your portfolio. These assets can include: 

  • Stocks  
  • Bonds  
  • Annuities  
  • Mutual funds  
  • Real estate  
  • Money market accounts 

Much like with gold coins, the Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997 allows investors to open self-directed IRAs and invest their money in IRS-approved silver coins and bars. Even if an investor decides to focus exclusively on silver as part of their IRA, most people still refer to this kind of investment as a gold IRA. 

About IRA-Eligible Silver

To be eligible for an IRA, all precious metals—from gold and silver to platinum and palladium—need to meet specific requirements. These are the requirements for silver: 

  • Silver must be 99.9% pure.  
  • Bars and rounds must be produced by approved mints. Small bars have exact weight limitations.  
  • Coins must be in mint condition, have certificates of authenticity and be in their original packaging. 

IRA-Approved Silver Coins

The following list of coins includes IRS-approved silver available to buy. When you purchase one of these coins, an IRS-approved custodian must have possession of your coins. 

If you choose to take physical position of your coins, it will be treated as a distribution. Any distributions from a gold or silver IRA are subject to all regulations that govern traditional ones. While you can liquidate IRA metals for cash, doing so results in paying all applicable fees and taxes. 

Moose Silver Bullion Coins

Moose Silver Bullion Coins feature a stunning moose design on the coin’s reverse side. This is an uncommon, highly collectible coin that acts as real currency and is a perfect addition to any investment portfolio. 

Great-Horned Owl Silver Bullion Coins

Available in plastic flips, tubes of 30, or boxes of 600 coins, the Great-Horned Owl Silver Bullion Coin designed by Denis Mayer Jr. is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and has a face value. Other attributes include: 

  • ¾ Troy oz of .9999 pure silver 
  • Face value of $2 (CAD) 
  • Reverse-proof design of the great-horned owl 
  • Image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side 

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Woodland Caribou Silver Bullion Coins

Designed for the Royal Canadian Mint by Denis Mayer Jr., the Woodland Caribou Silver Bullion coin provides an excellent woodland caribou in right-profile on its reverse side, a testament to the stamina and endurance of this native Canadian animal. Other features include: 

  • ¾ Troy oz of .9999 pure silver 
  • Face value of $2 (CAD), fully backed by the Canadian government 
  • Image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side 

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Canadian Wild Horse Bullion Coins

The 2019-produced Canadian Wild Horse Coin is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and is available in 99.99% pure silver. The majestic Canadian Wild Horse is an iconic symbol of Canada. This design, created in 2003 by Susanna Blunt, is in use in all Canadian currencies.
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Wolverine Silver Bullion Coins

The reverse of these Denis Mayer Jr.-designed coins features a meticulously crafted portrait of the formidable wolverine. The coin is minted in .9999 pure silver by the Royal Canadian Mint and is considered good, legal tender by the Canadian government. In addition to the wolverine’s reverse-side portrait, collectors can also appreciate the intricate rendering of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side. 
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Bighorn Sheep Silver Bullion Coins

Denis Mayer designed the Bighorn Sheep Silver Bullion Coin for the Royal Canadian Mint. Engraved with a powerful image of the Bighorn sheep, this coin is minted from 99.99% pure silver and features an obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt.
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Canadian $8 Silver Polar Bear and Cub

The 1.5 ounce Canadian Wildlife Series silver coins are thick and brilliantly designed. This 2013 coin is the first 1.5 ounce, 99.99% pure silver coin minted by the Royal Canadian Mint.  

American Silver Eagle Proof Coins

Since their initial 1986 release, the Silver American Eagle Proof coins are the United States’s official version of the silver bullion coin. They come in one-ounce denominations. Each 99.99% pure silver coin is struck multiple times, which makes the frosted images on the coin appear to float above a mirror-like field.  

Austrian Silver Philharmonic Coins 

The Austrian Silver Philharmonic coin is minted by the Austrian Mint in Vienna and is a .999 pure silver coin with a face value of 1.5 euros. This is the first coin denominated in euros. 

Mexican Libertad Coins

One of the most iconic collectible coins in the world, the Mexican Libertad coin displays a winged Victoria that represents Mexican independence. Victoria is flanked by two volcanoes, Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl. The coin’s opposite side displays an intricate coat of arms. 

American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins

The American Silver Eagle Coin was first issued in 1986 and is America’s only official investment-grade silver bullion coin. The U.S. Mint strikes these coins in one troy oz. denominations and assure that each one possesses 99.9% pure silver. This is the only silver bullion coin actively produced by the United States Mint. 

How to Buy Silver Coins for Your IRA

Buying IRA-approved silver coins requires many of the same steps as gold coins. You must identify a custodian to hold the coins or assets. Next, open a gold IRA account. Add funds to this account with a rollover from an existing IRA. 

Rolling funds over in this manner must be done within 60 days, because failing to do so leads to a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. To avoid this, let your gold IRA company coordinate the transfer. 

Don’t fund a gold IRA with cash, as this causes you to lose out on the cash advantages of IRA investment. 

Remember, you need your coins to remain with the custodian to be part of the IRA. Taking direct delivery of the assets counts as a withdrawal and is subject to applicable taxes and fees.


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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