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There is a reason why gold investments in an IRA are becoming more and more popular.

It is a tangible asset that has stood the test of time and has always maintained value. Being a long-term asset that hedges against inflation and economic instability, it fits into a retirement vehicle naturally.

In this article you're going to learn how to invest in gold in an IRA, if physical gold is even allowed in an IRA or not, and whether or not it's right for you.


Gold Investments in IRA - An Overview

An IRA is a tax-advantaged account that allows individuals to save for retirement.

Several types of IRAs exist, including Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs. Each type of IRA has its rules and requirements, along with benefits, so it is important to understand the differences before deciding which is right for you.


One thing to remember is that not all IRAs allow for investments in gold. To invest in physical precious metals, you'll need to open a gold IRA. 

A "gold IRA" is a form of a self-directed IRA (SDIRA). A self-directed IRA is a type of IRA that allows the account holder to choose their investments as long as they meet certain IRS requirements. This gives the account holder more control over their investment portfolio and allows for a wider range of alternative investment options, including other precious metals such as silver.

It's important to remember that gold investments are allowed in self-directed IRAs, but not in traditional IRAs or other traditional retirement accounts.

Setting up a gold IRA can feel overwhelming because it involves multiple steps: you need to find a gold IRA custodian, work with an approved depository for storage, and navigate IRS tax rules for gold IRAs. Most of this is covered by specialized gold IRA companies in this sector, though.

How To Invest In Gold For an IRA Account

There are several ways to invest in gold in an IRA, including gold bullion, gold coins, and gold mining stocks.

Gold Bullion In an IRA

Gold bullion refers to gold in the form of bars or ingots. It is the purest form of gold and is typically 99.5% pure or higher. Gold bullion is valued based on its weight and the current market price of gold.

gold bullion

Investing in gold bullion through a self-directed IRA can be a good option for those who want to own physical gold and store it securely. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, specific rules and guidelines must be followed when investing in gold bullion through a self-directed IRA. The IRS requires that the gold be stored with a custodian that they approve. This is to ensure the safety and security of the gold, among other things.

Second, the gold must be of a certain purity level to be eligible for investment in a self-directed IRA. The gold must be at least 99.5% pure and approved by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

Gold Coins In an IRA

Another suitable option for investing in gold through a self-directed IRA is through gold coins. Like gold bullion, gold coins must meet certain purity requirements to be eligible for investment in a self-directed IRA. The IRS requires that the LBMA approved gold coins are at least 99.5% pure.

Several types of gold coins can be invested in through a self-directed IRA, including American Gold Eagles, Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, and Australian Kangaroos. Each type of gold coin has unique characteristics and may appeal to different investors for different reasons.

Gold Mining Stocks In an IRA

Investing in gold mining stocks is another way to invest in gold through a self-directed IRA. Gold mining stocks are shares of publicly traded companies involved in mining and producing gold. While most people are interested in buying physical precious metals inside of a gold IRA, it's actually possible to buy and sell almost any kind of investment asset inside of an SDIRA (which your gold IRA is). That means you can buy traditional assets as well as alternative assets.

Most gold IRA companies won't help you invest in gold stocks through them, as their focus is pretty narrow and limited to buying and selling physical gold investments like coins and bullion, but that doesn't mean that you're out of luck.

gold mining stocks

Investing in gold mining stocks can be a more risky investment than physical gold, as the value of the equities depends on the performance of the mining company and stock market conditions. However, it can also offer higher returns if the company succeeds.

Always carefully research and evaluate gold mining companies before investing in their stocks. This includes considering factors such as their track record, financial stability, and the potential for future growth.

Benefits of Investing in Gold through an IRA

There are several benefits to investing in gold through an IRA. One of the main benefits is the potential for diversification of your investment portfolio. Gold performs independently from other asset classes, such as stocks and bonds, and can provide a hedge against market volatility.

Another benefit is the potential for tax advantages. Traditional IRAs offer tax-deferred growth, meaning that the investment growth is not taxed until it is withdrawn during retirement. Roth IRAs offer tax-free growth, meaning that the investment growth is not taxed as long as certain conditions are met.

Investing in gold through a self-directed IRA also allows for more control over your investment portfolio. As a Gold IRA account holder, you can choose the specific investments you want to make rather than relying on a financial advisor or mutual fund manager.

Risks of Investing in Gold through an IRA

While investing in gold through an IRA has its perks, it's also important to be aware of the risks. One risk comes in the form of fluctuations in the price of gold.

Gold prices can be affected by various factors, including economic conditions, geopolitical events, and supply and demand. This means that the value of your gold investment can go up or down somewhat abruptly in the short-term.

risk of investing in gold

To combat this, do your due diligence and always research the companies you're considering, as well as the prices of individual assets.

What Is The Best Gold IRA? 

We've reviewed dozens of gold IRA companies.

Here are the best gold IRAs for 2023: 

augusta precious metals logo

# 1 - Augusta Precious Metals (Most Trusted)

Augusta Precious Metals is our top gold IRA company recommendation. They have a great reputation, are great for high networth individuals, and have been around since 2012. They are almost completely focused on precious metals as their name suggests. Augusta Precious Metals is extremely well rated by both the Better Business Bureau as well as the Business Consumer Alliance. 

How we rated Augusta

We gave Augusta Precious Metals 5 Stars based on a number of factors, including: Team, Pricing, Support, Security, and Selection.


  • Best for high networth individuals
  • 100% 5 stars at ratings firms (as of 2022)
  • Great pricing and waived fees


  • High minimum investment amount ($50K)
  • Less gold selection than some dealers
  • Not as good for beginners
american hartford gold logo

# 2 - American Hartford Gold (Best Customer Service)

American Hartford Gold is easily one of the most trustworthy gold IRA dealers, with near pristine ratings and reviews online, great product inventory, and super a super helpful team with great customer service. It's obvious they care about their customers. On the other hand, if you're looking for platinum or palladium, you're out of luck. We gave AHG 5 out of 5 stars. 

How we rated American Hartford Gold

We gave American Hartford 5 Stars based on a number of factors, including: Team, Pricing, Support, Security, and Selection.


  • Pristine reviews and ratings online
  • Great selection of coins and bullion
  • Lots of great promotions & low minimums


  • Pricing is not transparent on the website
  • No platinum or palladium products listed
  • Unclear if they will price match with competitors
birch gold logo

# 3 - Birch Gold Group (Best Choice For New Investors)

Birch Gold Group is a company with almost two decades of history. They’re gold IRA specialists with a great reputation that charges low fees and has an excellent as well as easy buyback program. Birch Gold Group is recommended for new investors since they’re easy and efficient to work with, have low fees and you can start a gold IRA with them for as low as $10,000. 

How we rated Birch Gold

We gave Augusta Precious Metals 4.5 Stars based on a number of factors, including: Team, Pricing, Support, Security, and Selection.


  • Competitive fees and great pricing
  • Awesome customer onboarding experience
  • Great selection of precious metals


  • Some negative reviews online
  • Large minimum account size
  • Not much info on leadership
lear capital logo

# 4 - Lear Capital (Trusted and Established)

Lear Capital is one of the oldest names in the gold IRA industry. Founded in 1997, Lear has made a name for itself for many years as a trusted provider with a solid reputation in customer support and account management. We recommend them for all your gold IRA needs, but if you're looking for platinum or palladiums, look elsewhere.

How we rated Lear Capital

We gave Lear Capital 4.5 Stars based on a number of factors, including: Team, Pricing, Support, Security, and Selection.


  • Excellent customer service and support
  • Transparent and competitive pricing
  • Easy account opening process


  • High fees for smaller investments
  • Limited focus on gold and silver only

Are Gold IRA Investments Safe?

gold investments in ira

There are a number of different gold IRA companies available, so it's important to do your research and choose a company that is reputable and has a good track record. The prices of gold IRAs can vary depending on the company and the type of gold you purchase.

Besides that, gold IRA investments are generally a safe and secure way to invest your retirement savings with plenty of room for appreciation.

About the author 

Sam Rexford

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