Gold IRA Eligibility

Gold IRA Eligibility

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Diversifying your retirement portfolio with a Gold IRA can be a wise financial decision. It can help protect you against stock market volatility and allow you to hold a tangible and easy-to-liquidate asset.

If you've just started looking into Gold IRAs, it is understandable that you have some questions. One question that many individuals wonder is what exactly they can add to their precious metals IRA. Can any pieces of gold be added? Or are there restrictions or limitations that you need to be aware of? Let's dive in and answer these questions over the next few sections.

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What Is a Gold IRA?

Gold IRA Eligibility

Before we look at the requirements that precious metals must meet in order to be held in an IRA, let's take a step back and review what a Gold IRA is.

Gold IRAs are a type of Self-Directed IRA. They allow you to hold alternative assets, such as gold, in a retirement account. The same maximum contribution amounts apply to Gold IRAs as other traditional IRAs. Individuals under 50 years old can contribute a maximum of $6,000 to their IRA, and individuals over 50 years old can contribute up to $7,000 a year.

Setting up a Gold IRA comes along with a plethora of benefits. The first, and possibly most important, is that a Gold IRA can help you diversify your investment portfolio. Your money will not all be invested in the stock market, which means you'll be less vulnerable to market dips or crashes.

The value of gold, historically, has remained relatively stable. It has been, and continues to be, a rare precious metal that many individuals want to own. This gives you some added peace of mind that when you're ready to liquidate the holdings in your IRA, you should be able to find a buyer easily.

Gold IRA holders also enjoy similar tax benefits to standard IRA holders. Contributing to a traditional Gold IRA can decrease your taxable income. Roth Gold IRAs, which are taxed up front, will allow your investment to grow tax-free. When you're ready to make a withdrawal, the money you take out is completely yours; no taxes will be owed.

The terms Gold IRA and Precious Metals IRA are often used interchangeably. In addition to investing in gold coins and bars, you can also add silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars to your IRA.

Eligibility Requirements Set by the IRS

You can't simply add any gold coins or bars to a Gold IRA. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium must meet specific criteria outlined by the IRS. Here is a quick summary of the eligibility requirements outlined by the IRS:

  • Gold coins and bars must have a minimum purity level of 99.5% (with the exception of the Gold American Eagle Coin, which is 91.67% pure).
  • Silver coins and bars must have a minimum purity level of 99.9%.
  • Platinum coins and bars must have a minimum purity level of 99.95%.
  • Palladium coins and bars must have a minimum purity level of 99.95%.
  • All bullion (coins, bars, or rounds) must come from NYMEX, COMEX, LME, LBMA, NYSE, or TOCOM, ISO 9000 accredited or certified manufacturers or the mint of a national government that meets the minimum requirements for fineness.
  • Any proof coins must include their certificate of authenticity, be packaged in the original mint packaging, and remain in excellent condition.
  • Aside from 100- and 400-ounce gold bars, 1,000-ounce silver bars, 50-ounce platinum bars, and 100-ounce palladium bars, small bullion bars need to be made to exact weight specification.
  • Bullion coins must not be damaged in any manner and be in brilliant, uncirculated condition.

While this list of requirements may seem overwhelming, your precious metals provider will be able to help you ensure that you choose IRA-eligible coins and bars to add to your account.

IRA-Eligible Gold Examples

To help you see that there truly are a lot of eligible coins and bars, let's take a look at some (there are a lot more) of the eligible gold bullion you can hold in your IRA.

❑ Gold Coins

  • Gold American Eagle Coins
  • Gold American Buffalo Coins
  • Gold Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Gold Canadian Twin Maples Coin
  • Gold Canadian Soaring Eagle Coins
  • Gold British Britannia Coins
  • Gold Canadian Polar Bear and Cub Coins
  • Gold Australian Kangaroo Coins
  • Gold Australian Saltwater Crocodile Coins
  • Gold Chinese Panda Coins
  • Gold Austrian Philharmonic Coins

❑ Gold Bars

  • Credit Suisse Gold Bars
  • Valcambi Gold CombiBars
  • PAMP Suisse Gold Bars
  • Johnson Matthey Gold Bars
  • Royal Canadian Mint Gold Bars
  • Sunshine Mint Gold Bars
  • UBS Gold Bars

Other Precious Metals

Earlier, we shared that you can also add silver, platinum, or palladium coins or bars that meet the requirements set by the IRS. Here are some of the available options for these precious metals that you can hold in an IRA.

❑ Silver

  • Silver American Eagle Coins
  • Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Silver Chinese Panda Coins
  • Silver Austrian Philharmonic Coins
  • Silver South African Krugerrand Coins
  • Silver Australian Kangaroo Coins
  • Silver Mexican Libertad Coins
  • Silver British Britannia Coins
  • PAMP Suisse Silver Bars
  • Royal Canadian Mint Silver Bars
  • Johnson Matthey Silver Bars
  • Sunshine Mint Silver Bars
  • SilverTown Silver Bars
  • Engelhard Silver Bars

❑ Platinum

  • Platinum American Eagle Coins
  • Platinum Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • PAMP Suisse Platinum Bars
  • Valcambi Platinum Bars
  • Credit Suisse Platinum Bars
  • Engelhard Platinum Bars

❑ Palladium

  • Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
  • Russian Ballerina Palladium Coins
  • Credit Suisse Palladium Bars
  • Baird Palladium Bars

Ineligible Gold Examples

Rare coins, collectible coins, or any coins or bars that do not meet the minimum fineness levels set by the IRS cannot be held in an IRA. Some examples include:

  • Gold South African Krugerrand Coins
  • Gold British Sovereigns
  • Gold Dutch Guilders
  • Gold French Francs
  • Gold German Marks
  • Gold Hungarian Koronas
  • Gold Italian Liras
  • Morgan Silver Dollars
  • Peace Silver Dollars

How Do You Add IRA-Eligible Gold to a Retirement Account?

Gold IRA Eligibility

If you're ready to open a Gold IRA and add some of the eligible coins or bars shared in this article, your first step should be to contact a trusted precious metals provider. They can help you with opening your new Gold IRA account and can help you work with an IRA custodian to initiate a transfer for the funds from an existing retirement account.

Once your account has been funded, you can select the IRA-eligible gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins that you'd like to invest in. The precious metals provider you're working with should take care of shipping all of your coins directly to the IRS-approved depository where they will remain securely held until you're ready to begin taking disbursements after reaching the age of retirement.

Final Words

With a Gold IRA, you can set yourself up for future financial success by diversifying your portfolio with a highly coveted precious metal. Gold IRAs can help stabilize your portfolio and provide you protection against the ups and downs of the stock market. Knowing the dos and don'ts for adding precious metals to an IRA is important. The information above should help you with deciding which coins or bars you'd like to add to your IRA. You can also talk with your precious metals provider to learn more or ask any additional questions you may still have.

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