What is IRA-Eligible Gold?

IRA-eligible gold is physical gold minted as coins or bars that have been approved by the IRS and deemed investment grade. The IRS allows only these specific metals in a Gold IRA

The IRS has strict guidelines regarding the types of metals you can have in an IRA. These guidelines help keep your long-term retirement funds safe and secure. To be considered for storage in an individual retirement account, gold or other eligible precious metals must meet benchmarks for the following standards: 

  • Quality 
  • Purity 
  • Condition 

Owning approved gold in an IRA is one of the safest ways to own precious metals. With a Gold IRA, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your metals are stored in some of the best and safest vaults in the world. 

Before opening your account, talk with your Gold IRA account executive about how investing in a Gold IRA can help achieve your specific goals. They’ll help you choose the right metals to meet those objectives and adhere to the IRS’s Gold IRA tax rules.  

IRS-Approved Gold

What does IRA-approved gold mean? In short, not just any type of gold meets IRS standards. For example, gold jewelry isn’t eligible for inclusion because it doesn’t meet the size, purity, and condition requirements. IRA-eligible gold must meet the following guidelines: 

Coin Requirements: 

  • Gold must be 99.5% pure. 
  • Coins must be new, uncirculated, and in perfect condition. 
  • Coins must originate from government mints. 
  • Proof coins must be in their original packaging and have their certificate of authenticity. 


Bar and Round Requirements: 

  • Gold must be 99.5% pure. 
  • Small bullion bars must meet exact weight specifications. 
  • Bars must be made by accredited manufacturers. 


Most collectible coins aren’t eligible for a Gold IRA even if they meet IRS purity standards. Popular bullion coins, such as the United Kingdom’s Sovereign coins, French 20 Franc coins, or U.S. Liberty coins, are excluded. 

Types of IRA-Eligible Gold

Even with these limitations, you have plenty of options for your Gold IRA. Many gold bars and coins meet the IRS requirements. 

Because gold coins and bars are real, physical, and tangible objects, many investors choose coins that appeal to their senses as well as their objectives. That means you can purchase gold coins and bars that have aesthetic value, too. 

The U.S. Mint (USM), the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), and The Royal Mint of England (RME) make coins that are not only easily recognized in most parts of the world—which makes them easy to liquidate—but are also considered by some to be the most beautiful and well-struck coins. 

Some IRA-eligible gold coins favored by investors for their beauty include: 

  • RCM gold .25-ounce Lynx coin 
  • RCM gold .25-ounce Blue Whale coin 
  • USM gold 1-ounce American Eagle coin 
  • RCM gold 1-ounce Canadian Maple Leaf coin 
  • RME gold .10-ounce Britannia coin 
  • RCM gold .25-ounce Moose coin 

If you’re concerned about purchasing gold coins and never seeing them again before you sell them, don’t fret. Most depositories (vaults) approved for storage of IRA precious metals allow visitation. In most instances, you can make an appointment to go and see your metals and even hold them in your hands. 

Gold IRA Tax Rules

Aside from the standards for metals, Gold IRA tax rules are the same as those for paper-based IRAs. 

For traditional and simplified employee pension (SEP) IRAs, the IRS allows distributions without penalty at the age of 59 ½. A Roth account must have been in existence for five years, and then at age 59 ½, it is eligible for withdrawals without penalty.  

At age 72, traditional and SEP IRA holders must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs). An RMD is a scheduled yearly withdrawal designed to draw down the IRA and fulfill the unpaid tax liability.  

Some Gold IRA owners find it beneficial to take in-kind distributions, meaning they receive a portion of their physical gold versus cash. This allows them to still own their physical gold and for the gold to still work for them. 

Withdrawals for tax purposes are computed as ordinary income. Please consult your tax professional or certified public accountant (CPA) to learn how these withdrawals may affect you.  

Note that because a Roth Gold IRA is established with after-tax funds, it doesn’t require RMDs, and it doesn’t get taxed for an allowable distribution. 

With all IRAs, it is important to note that distributions before eligibility are subject to a 10% penalty and counted as income for tax purposes.  

Your tax advisor can give you guidance on this, so please consult with them for complete clarification. 

How to Invest in IRA-Eligible Gold

Once you understand what counts as eligible gold and the tax rules surrounding your new IRA, the next step is to find the right custodian and Gold IRA company for your gold purchase.  

Advantage Gold can help.  

As the #1 rated precious metals firm, Advantage Gold has educated and served our clients for almost a decade. We have thousands of 5-star online reviews with the most trusted review sites, including TrustLink and the Better Business Bureau, so you can see for yourself why we are a great choice to serve your precious metals needs.  

Our highly trained and experienced account executives can answer your questions about how to invest in a Gold IRA. We’ll walk you through the account application and assist you with information on the available precious metals options.  

We purchase the metals at your behest and send them to the depository (vault) of your choice. They are then inspected and approved for storage inside your IRA and will sit on a shelf in the vault until you are ready for them.  

We use Strata Trust as our custodian. A custodian is a highly regulated entity—usually a bank—which the IRS approves to be the caretaker, approver, and overseer of transactions that must be performed within an IRA. They know IRS rules and ensure guidelines are met.  

Paperwork is sent from the custodian to the account owner, and the custodian is responsible for all reporting and accounting back to the IRS. They do the work, so you don’t have to.  

The application process is simple, and we will typically walk you through it in half an hour or less. Most new clients are amazed at how easy it really is to get started. 

Invest in IRA-Eligible Gold Today

Anyone can open a Gold IRA. With the new knowledge of eligible coins and bars that we hope to have provided, you can see that owning tangible gold in your IRA is just as simple as owning a paper product. Tax and withdrawal rules don’t change, just your choice of investment vehicles.  

If you still have questions about IRA eligible gold, the application process, or your options with the Gold IRA, please call Advantage Gold or choose the fill out information in the link and we will contact you. 

We look forward to speaking with you soon, and we’re happy to help. 

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