Gold IRA & Precious Metals IRA Investing

Strengths and Misconceptions of Gold and Precious Metals

Financial professionals all agree that asset diversification is the key to success when it comes to investing - and precious metals is one way to reduce risk in times of an uncertain economy.

To most investors, owning precious metals inside of an IRA signifies owning shares of an ETF or mutual fund that holds a pool of metals, such as gold or silver. With a Precious Metals IRA, an individual can actually buy and hold physical precious metals inside of his or her IRA.

A self directed IRA with SDIRA Services enables you to invest in gold, precious metals, and much more on a tax-deferred or tax-free basis.

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The prospect of owning tangible metals inside of a self directed IRA is exciting to many savers, especially since the investment options include gold, silver, platinum and palladium. At this point, gold and silver are by far the most popular choices for Precious Metals IRAs. An IRA can purchase coins, such as American Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs, or physical bullion in the shape of bars and rounds. Any metals, such as gold or silver, owned inside of a Precious Metals IRA must meet certain fineness requirements and must be produced by an approved and accredited refiner.

While owned inside of a Precious Metals IRA, the physical metals must be stored with a third-party depository. Self Directed IRA Services, Inc. works with Brink's Global Services USA, Inc. (Salt Lake City) and Delaware Depository (Wilmington, DE) for all of our clients’ storage needs. Should a client decide to take a distribution from his or her Precious Metals IRA, they have the option to receive the actual metals, as opposed to liquidating the coins or bars. For example, a client that owns gold American Eagles inside of a Precious Metals IRA can receive the actual gold American Eagles as the distributed asset. The IRS tax rules apply to this in-kind distribution, just as if cash had been distributed.

Owning physical metals such as gold, silver, platinum or palladium can be an important part of a well-diversified retirement portfolio. While owning tangible metals inside of a Precious Metals IRA is a fascinating idea, investors must be mindful of the many rules and procedures involved. Finding a regulated self directed IRA custodian that will hold precious metals for the benefit of an IRA is an important step in the process of ensuring an accountholder follows one of the many IRS guidelines involved.

With SDIRA Services, you can open a Precious Metals IRA or Gold IRA and invest in most types of gold, silver, platinum and palladium.  Our 100+ years combined experience working as a Precious Metal IRA Custodian and exceptional service make it easy to work with us.  In fact, we provide IRA services to individuals nationwide and can work with any precious metals broker or dealer a client chooses.  Let us help you get started!  

Our Precious Metals IRA offers these value-added benefits: 

  • An annual IRA fee of $75 for accounts valued at $100,000 or less, $125 for accounts valued at $100,001 or more.
  • Insured and secure storage of precious metals with the depository of your choice: Brink's Global Services - Salt Lake City, UT ("Brink's"), or Delaware Depository Service Company ("Delaware Depository").
  • Reasonable annual storage fee with the depository (flat $100 annual storage fee in most cases).
  • Dedicated storage area within the selected depository for our IRA owners.
  • Commingled storage of precious metals with the option for IRA owners to specify segregated storage for gold at the selected depository. 
  • Fast and accurate processing of your IRA gold and precious metals transactions.
  • A toll free phone line answered directly by our Client Services team.

Learn more by visiting our Precious Metal IRA FAQs.  Request information or read the topics below to learn more!

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What Types of Precious Metals are Allowed in an IRA?

For several years only gold and silver U.S. American Eagle coins were allowed as IRA investments under the federal guidelines.  However, legislation which became effective in 1998 expanded this to include gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion which meets certain fineness standards. 

The depository selected, Brink's or Delaware Depository, will accept the following coins and bullion products for IRA-owned storage:

Popular(1) Bullion Products Allowed in IRAs


• American Eagle bullion and/or proof coins

• Austrian Philharmonic bullion coins

• American Buffalo bullion coins

• British Britannia (new .9999+) bullion coins

• Australian Kangaroo/Nugget bullion coins

• Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins

• Bars, rounds and coins manufactured by a refiner/assayer/manufacturer accredited by NYMEX/COMEX, NYSE/Liffe, LME, LBMA, LPPM, TOCOM, ISO 9000, or a national government mint and meeting minimum fineness requirements(2)(3)



• American Eagle bullion and proof coins • British Britannia (new .9999+) bullion coins
• American America the Beautiful bullion coins

• Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins

• Australian Kookaburra bullion coins

• Mexican Libertad bullion coins

• Austrian Philharmonic bullion coins • Bars, rounds and coins manufactured by a refiner/assayer/manufacturer accredited by NYMEX/COMEX, NYSE/Liffe, LME, LBMA, LPPM, TOCOM, ISO 9000, or a national government mint and meeting minimum fineness requirements(2)(3)


• American Eagle bullion and proof coins • Isle of Man Noble bullion coins
• Australian Koala bullion coins

• Bars, rounds and coins manufactured by a refiner/assayer/manufacturer accredited by NYMEX/COMEX, NYSE/Liffe, LME, LBMA, LPPM, TOCOM, ISO 9000, or a national government mint and meeting minimum fineness requirements(2)(3)

• Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins


• Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coin

• Bars, rounds and coins manufactured by a refiner/assayer/manufacturer accredited by NYMEX/COMEX, NYSE/Liffe, LME, LBMA, LPPM, TOCOM, ISO 9000, or a national government mint and meeting minimum fineness requirements(2)(3)

Examples of Precious Metals Not Permitted in an IRA

● Austrian Corona and Ducat

● German Mark

● Belgian Franc

● Hungarian Korona
● British Sovereign and Britannia ● Italian Lira
● Chilean Peso ● Mexican Peso and Ounza
● Columbian Peso ● South African Krugerrand
● Dutch Guilder ● Swiss Franc
● French Franc ● Rare or Collectible Coins


(1) The list represents the most popular bullion products allowed in IRAs.  Additional products may be acceptable.

(2) Minimum Fineness Required:

· Gold = .995+ · Platinum = .9995+
· Silver = .999+ · Palladium = .9995+

(3) Small bullion bars (i.e., bars other than 400-ounce gold, 100-ounce gold, 1000-ounce silver, 50-ounce platinum and 100-ounce palladium bars) must be manufactured to exact weight specifications.

Last updated:  February 2013

Storage by Delaware Depository or Brink's Global Services

At SDIRA Services, clients have the option to choose the precious metals storage services offered by one of the storage facilities shown below for the secure safekeeping and storage of their IRA-owned precious metals:

1. Brink's Global Services ("Brink's") storage facility located in Salt Lake City, UT, or

2. Delaware Depository Service Company ("Delaware Depository") located in Wilmington, Delaware.

Learn more about the depositories by visiting the company websites shown below:

Upon receipt of your precious metals, the shipment is opened and contents inspected by the depository.  After inspection, the IRA owner's metals are deposited and securely stored in an insured, subaccount in the manner shown below. 

Bullet iconGold, Platinum, Palladium and Silver will be commingled (stored in bulk) within the designated storage area for SDIRA Services with the selected depository.  This means the IRA owner does not receive the same material as was initially deposited when the owner decides to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution (personal possession of the metal). 

Bullet iconGold, Platinum and Palladium (no Silver) may be segregated upon request by the IRA owner.  If segregated storage is requested, the precious metals are repackaged after verification and stored separately within the designated storage area for SDIRA Services with the depository.  This ensures that the client will receive the exact material as deposited when the time comes that the client decides to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution (when the IRA owner takes personal possession of the metal).


Storage Fees 

The selected depository, Brink's or Delaware Depository, charges each SDIRA Services account an annual storage fee based on the precious metals held.  SDIRA Services will bill the depository's storage fee, in conjunction with the annual IRA fee, at the time the account is opened, and annually during the anniversary month of the opening of the IRA. The depository storage fee will be billed at the rate shown below. 

  • Commingled storage within the designated area for SDIRA Services will be the default manner in which precious metals are stored, unless the IRA owner specifies segregated storage.
  • Commingled storage will be billed annually at the rate of $100 flat.   
  • Segregated storage within the designated area for SDIRA Services is available upon the IRA owner's request, and will be billed annually at the rate of $1.60 per $1,000 (16 basis points); $200 minimum. 
  • Payment of the storage fee is required initially to open the depository account and will be billed annually thereafter by SDIRA Services during the account anniversary month. 
  • The annual depository fee charged by Brink's or Delaware Depository will not be prorated, nor will the annual IRA fee charged by SDIRA Services be prorated.

"Home Storage" or "Self Storage" is not permitted.  Individuals seeking this type of storage for IRA-owned gold or precious metals may wish to read our white paper, "Storage Requirements for IRA-Owned Precious Metals".

Precious Metals Valuations

The valuations of precious metals shown on your statement are based on spot value, which is the current spot price multiplied by the ounces of fine metal contained in the coin or bar. Spot values do not include any premiums, mark-ups, mark-downs or commissions. Spot values should be used as an indication of value only and should not be construed as a firm bid price to buy by any broker or dealer. The actual precious metals type and quantity of a transaction may affect the price received for any given bullion item.  Price indications for specific bullion products may be obtained from various sources including your precious metals broker dealer or on the internet at sites such as   Contact a dealer for specific price quotes for precious metals. 

The depository requires that proof coins be encapsulated in complete, original mint packaging, including certificate of authenticity, and in excellent condition.  Non-proof coins must be in Brilliant Uncirculated condition and free from damage.

In addition to your account statements, spot price is also used to report the fair market value of your account to the IRS.

It’s easy to invest in Gold and Precious Metals in an IRA.  

Just follow these 4 easy steps: 


 SDIRA iconStep 1:  Open your Precious Metals IRA account.

  • To open an IRA, use our online account opening feature in the Get Started section of our website, or download the IRA kit in the Forms section for the type of IRA you wish to open (Traditional, Roth, SEP or SIMPLE IRA).   
  • Complete the forms.
  • Include your payment of your IRA Fees and Precious Metals Storage Fee. You may pay by check or credit card.  If by credit card, please complete our Credit Card Charge Form.
  •  If payment is not included, the fees will be deducted from the transfer, rollover or contribution funds prior to SDIRA processing the purchase. 

Note:  The depository storage fee is an annual fee due at the time the storage account is opened, and annually in conjunction with your IRA renewal fee.  Both fees will be billed by SDIRA Services at the time the IRA is opened, and each year afterward during the anniversary month of the IRA account opening.  Fees will not be prorated.  

  •  SDIRA iconStep 2:  Fund your IRA with a rollover, transfer or contribution.

    IRA Transfer

    • The IRA can be funded through an IRA to IRA transfer.  Simply complete the Transfer Request form included in the IRA Kit.
    • Mail the completed and signed IRA Transfer Request form to SDIRA Services.

    401(k) Rollover

    • A direct rollover from a 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan is another way to fund a self directed IRA.  Contact the plan administrator of the plan to obtain the form(s) needed to request or authorize a direct rollover.

    IRA Contribution

    • If eligible, you can make an annual IRA contribution to fund your Precious Metals IRA.  See our IRA Annual Limits chart.

    Learn more about rollovers, transfers and contributions.


     SDIRA iconStep 3:  Once funds are available in your IRA, choose a precious metals dealer and place your trade.

    • You determine the precious metals dealer you wish to use, and you will negotiate the precious metals to be purchased, and place your precious metals buy order directly with the dealer.

    SDIRA iconStep 4:  Authorize SDIRA Services to remit payment for your purchase.

    • To authorize, simply sign and date the dealer's precious metals order ticket, or complete and sign our Precious Metals Investment Direction form and submit with the order ticket.  The order ticket must be itemized to show the type, quantity and price of the precious metals purchased.
    • Fax it to SDIRA Services at 512.495.9554.
    • Upon receipt, SDIRA Services will remit payment to the precious metals dealer and provide the dealer with instructions for delivery of the precious metals to the depository.

    Payment and Confirmation of Your Precious Metals Purchase

    • SDIRA Services will issue payment to the precious metals broker/dealer and notify the selected depository to expect delivery.
    • The depository will send a confirmation to SDIRA Services when it receives the precious metals.   
    • Once SDIRA Services receives confirmation, the precious metals will be posted and reflected in the Precious Metals IRA.
    • The IRA accountholder will receive quarterly statements from SDIRA Services which reflect the account activity and value of the precious metals holdings. 
    • Your precious metal holdings within your IRA will be valued in accordance with SDIRA Services Valuation Policy.  To learn more about this, see Valuation of Precious Metals in an IRA.

    Need Help?

    We hope this information shows you how to establish and purchase gold and precious metals in an IRA with SDIRA Services.  However, if you have questions or need additional help, let us know.  We're here to help!