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Coins layed out in a shape of a question mark.Dear Birch Gold Group,

I own some collectible coins that are quite valuable. I’m curious, why aren’t these coins eligible for a Precious Metals IRA, but many other coins are?

Sincerely,
Nick Baker

Hi Nick,

Great question – thank you for emailing.

You’re absolutely correct that many different coins are approved for placement in a Precious Metals IRA – not just those minted in the United States, but also those from other countries around the world, such Canada, Austria, Australia and Mexico. However, other types of coins that are considered highly collectible, rare and valuable are not allowed. What’s the difference, and why is this the case?

Gold coin on a wooden tableIt all comes down to the guidelines defined by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS only permits select forms of precious metals, which must meet specific criteria for how they’re minted and where.

For example, one of the key guidelines to reference when searching for IRA-approved coins is the minimum required fineness. This is essentially the percentage of metal content in a coin. To be eligible for placement in a Precious Metals IRA, the coins must be produced by an approved mint or refinery and also meet the following minimums for fineness:

  • Gold: 0.995 (with the exception of the American Gold Eagle Coin, which has a fineness of .9167)

  • Silver: 0.999

  • Platinum: 0.9995

  • Palladium: 0.9995

It’s likely that the IRS imposes these restrictions to retain some control over the types of investments added to retirement accounts. Plus, it ensures that the value of these approved coins can be easily determined by current market prices, as opposed to more subjective factors, such as rarity and condition, which are often used to price collectible (or numismatic) coins.

Of course, that doesn’t mean your numismatic coins aren’t a good investment! There are many benefits to investing in rare, collectible coins – but when it comes to your IRA, the coins must be approved by the IRS.

Thanks again for the question!

Do you have a question about how to invest in precious metals? Want to know more about how to set up a Precious Metals IRA, or what types of coins are available to you? Send an email to goldguru@www.birchgold.com and we may answer it in a future post on our site.