What Types of Gold Can Be Held in an IRA?

Investing in gold is a popular way to diversify a retirement portfolio, and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is one of the most common ways to do so. While IRAs were once limited to holding American Eagle gold and silver coins, today they can invest in gold, silver, palladium and platinum ingots and coins allowed by the IRS. However, not all investments in gold can be owned by an IRA. The basic rule is that an IRA is not allowed to own a collector's item, and precious metals are defined as collectibles, whether the investment is made in ingots or coins.

Fortunately, there are exceptions to the general rule for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, which hold up in certain forms. The term gold IRA refers to a specialized individual retirement account (IRA) that allows investors to hold gold as a qualifying retirement investment. Investors with gold IRAs can hold physical metals such as ingots or coins, as well as securities related to precious metals, in their portfolios. The IRS has issued resolutions in private letters to major gold ETFs stating that IRAs may own ETFs.

While gold can diversify your portfolio and may offer insurance against inflation, it can also experience periods of volatility. Gold IRA companies can help you with the process, from selecting the custodian to organizing the storage of your precious metals. A palladium IRA is a form of self-directed IRA or precious metal IRA that is invested in certain permitted types of physical palladium coins or palladium ingots. A gold IRA is a type of self-directed individual retirement account that allows people to hold physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium as investments within the account.

Some gold IRA companies defend the inclusion of certain currencies in a precious metals IRA; however, the government has investigated several of those companies for misleading customers and aggressively selling coin coins instead of gold ingots. As a result, gold IRAs require the use of a custodian, usually a bank or brokerage firm that manages the account. A gold IRA can be a traditional IRA, a ROTH IRA, a SEP-IRA, a SIMPLE IRA, or an inherited IRA that is self-directed and holds physical gold coins or ingots eligible for the IRA. Gold and silver ingots and rounds are also allowed in an IRA when they have a fineness of 99.9%.

The four precious metals that can be held in an individual retirement account are gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as long as they are in the form of coins or ingots approved by the IRS. A ROTH IRA can own gold and precious metals eligible for an IRA just like any other IRA. Before starting the process of investing in gold through an IRA it's essential to understand what types of gold meet the requirements of the account and how you can invest in it. Gold IRA companies can help you with this process from selecting the custodian to organizing the storage of your precious metals.