Can I Buy Gold Coins With My IRA?

Gold American Eagle coins

More and more Americans today are looking to protect their financial well-being. With households becoming more and more burdened with debt, and fears of recession growing, people want to maintain the wealth they have and protect themselves against loss.

One of the ways they do that is by buying safe haven assets such as gold. Gold has served as a safe haven asset and inflation hedge for centuries.

Gold’s performance during the 2008 financial crisis, when it gained 25% at a time when markets were down more than 50%, is a testament to its ability to preserve wealth even during times of economic turmoil.

But many Americans have significant portions of their financial wealth tied up in retirement accounts such as 401(k) and IRA accounts, which often don’t feature any way to put those funds into precious metals. So if you want to protect your wealth with gold, how would you go about buying gold with an IRA?

Self-Directed IRAs vs. Conventional IRAs

The first thing to know is that if you already have an IRA and want to buy gold with it, there’s a very high chance that you won’t be able to. In order to buy gold with an IRA, your IRA needs to be a self-directed IRA, a type of IRA in which you choose the types of assets you want to invest in.

Self-directed IRAs are administered by custodians who specialize in self-directed IRAs. So if you already have an IRA with a financial institution, it’s most likely not a self-directed IRA.

A gold IRA is a type of self-directed IRA that owns physical gold coins or gold bars. Unlike conventional IRAs, which own financial instruments such as stocks and bonds, a gold IRA actually owns physical gold.

That gold is then administered by a gold IRA custodian and stored at a bullion depository, where it is kept safe and secure. When you choose to take a distribution from your gold IRA, you can take it either in the form of physical gold or in cash.

What an IRA Can and Can’t Own

The answer to whether you can buy gold coins with your IRA is actually a little complicated. And the answer is a definite… maybe.

Many people don’t think about what IRA accounts can own, because they’re mostly interested in buying stocks, bonds, or shares in various funds. But once you branch out into self-directed IRAs and the alternative assets they can own, things can start to get a little tricky.

All IRA accounts, whether self-directed or not, are forbidden from acquiring collectibles. Collectibles are defined at 26 U.S.C. 408(m)(2) as:

  • any work of art,
  • any rug or antique,
  • any metal or gem,
  • any stamp or coin,
  • any alcoholic beverage, or
  • any other tangible personal property specified by the Secretary for purposes of this subsection.

There are some notable exceptions, however. The Gold American Eagle, Silver American Eagle, and Platinum American Eagle coins minted by the US Mint are specifically not considered collectibles for IRA investment purposes.

As well, any gold, silver, platinum, or palladium bullion that meets the minimum fineness requirements for a contract market is also IRA-eligible. This means that gold coins or bars minted to a fineness of .995 (99.5% gold) or higher are able to be acquired for a gold IRA.

So can you buy gold coins with your IRA? Yes, as long as:

  1. Your IRA is a self-directed gold IRA;
  2. The gold coins your IRA purchases are IRA-eligible;
  3. You adhere to all other IRA rules and regulations.

There are numerous beautiful gold coins that appeal to investors and collectors alike. Older gold coins like pre-1933 US gold coins, Swiss and French 20-Franc coins, UK Sovereigns, and Austrian 100-Corona restrikes remain popular bullion coins.

But these coins fail to meet the .995 fineness requirement, and thus are unable to be acquired by a gold IRA. Thankfully most gold coins minted today are minted to fineness of .999 or higher so that they can be acquired for a gold IRA.

Goldco works with mints around the world to source IRA-eligible gold coins. This ensures not only that the coins you purchase for your gold IRA are IRA-eligible, but also that they are guaranteed to be authentic.

3 Steps to Starting a Gold IRA

Starting a gold IRA isn’t much more difficult than starting any other IRA. And you can start a gold IRA in just 3 easy steps.

1. Open a Gold IRA

The first step to starting a gold IRA is to open a gold IRA. That requires you to find a custodian that specializes in self-directed gold IRAs and that is willing to manage your account.

You can do that by partnering with Goldco to start the gold IRA process. Goldco works with established gold IRA custodians to ensure that our customers find a custodian that will be able to manage their precious metals assets.

2. Fund Your Gold IRA

Once you have opened your gold IRA, you can begin to fund it. One popular way of funding a gold IRA is through a 401(k) to gold IRA rollover.

These 401(k) rollovers operate the same way that any 401(k) to IRA rollover works. First you contact your 401(k) plan administrator and begin the rollover process.

Once you have filled out the necessary paperwork and told your plan administrator where to send your funds, your plan administrator will send funds to your IRA custodian. And once your custodian has received the funds, you’ll be ready to start buying gold for your gold IRA.

3. Buy Gold for Your Gold IRA

After you’ve funded your gold IRA, you get to choose which gold coins or gold bars you buy for your gold IRA. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of coins to choose from, in a variety of sizes and designs.

The best part of a gold IRA is that you get to choose which gold coins or bars you want. You’re not limited to what someone else chooses for you, and as long as the coins you choose are IRA-eligible, you can add them to your IRA.

Learn More About Gold IRAs

The process of starting a gold IRA can seem daunting, particularly if you have no experience with precious metals. But it doesn’t have to be.

Goldco’s experts have helped thousands of customers navigate the gold IRA process and add gold, silver, and other precious metals to their IRAs. With over $2 billion in precious metals placements and over 5,000 5-star reviews, we’ve become one of the most trusted names in the industry.

If you want to protect your hard-earned savings with gold, or if you just want to learn more about how a gold IRA works, call Goldco today to find out more about the many benefits of a gold IRA.

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