Which Rare US Gold and Silver Coins and Bullion Qualifies to be Included in Your IRA?

With all the different precious metals on the market these days, getting confused over which items qualify almost always happens.

In general, coins that qualify to be included in your IRA must meet minimum requirements, with the purity of the metal contained in the coin a top priority.

The fineness standards are as follows:

  • Gold Coins – .995+
  • Silver Coins – .999+
  • Platinum – .9995+
  • Palladium – .9995+

Any of the mentioned coins below which have been graded for ‘condition’ by certification organizations then placed in tamper-proof plastic containers called “slabs”, will usually not qualify for IRAs. This is usually a sign that a particular coin is a collectible coin. The lone exception is the NGC Certified Bullion Coins, which only certify Authenticity and Fineness, and NOT grade.

When it comes to IRA metals, all US minted coins have nominal face values but the true value is based on the value of the metal in the coin.

Approved coins as listed in the IRS Code:

American Gold Eagles

rare gold coinsInterestingly, US minted American Gold Eagles are not of sufficient purity to classify them as bullion. They are only approximately 91% pure gold. The other material in the coin offsets the softness of the gold and makes the coin more durable. Gold Eagles arrive in one of 4 forms: 1/10, ¼, ½ and 1 full ounce gold coins.

American Gold Buffalo

First minted in 2006, they are of bullion fineness, .9999 fine (known as four nines-24K). Note that the specially processed proof version of this coin is NOT acceptable due to the treatment raising the value of the coin beyond the value of the metal.

American Silver Eagles

Silver Eagles come in only one form, 1 full ounce coin. They are of bullion fineness, but are only .999 (three nines) due to the addition of a touch of copper for added durability.

American Platinum Eagles

The rarest of birds, the Platinum Eagles are minted in 4 forms: 1/10, ¼, ½ and 1 ounce coins. These are of .9995 fineness.

Other Bullion Coins from National Mints that are Approved:

  • Australian Nugget (Kangaroo) Gold coins .9999 fine.
  • Australian Kangaroo and Kookaburra Silver coins .999 fine
  • Australian Koala Platinum coins .9995 fine
  • Austrian Philharmonic Gold coins .9999 fine
  • Austrian Philharmonic Silver coins .999 fine
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coins .9999 fine
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coins .9999 fine
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Platinum coins .9995 fine
  • Canadian Maple Leaf Palladium coins .9995 fine
  • Mexican Libertad Silver coins .999 fine
  • Isle of Man Noble Platinum coins .9995 fine

Non-approved coins that do not meet the fineness requirements (basically any coin that falls into the “Rare”, and thus collectable, category) are:

  • Austrian Corona and Ducat
  • Belgian Franc
  • British Sovereign and Britannia
  • Chilean Peso
  • Colombian Peso
  • Dutch Guilder
  • French Franc
  • German Mark
  • Hungarian Korona
  • Italian Lira
  • Mexican Peso and Ounza
  • South African Krugerrand
  • Swiss Franc

If you’re not sure about the fineness of a particular coin, call us at 1-800-707-7923 or visit the contact us page.