Precious Metal IRA Rules

Disclaimer: We are reader supported.  We may be compensated from the links in this post, if you use products or services based on our expert recommendations. Please read our Advertising Disclosure.

Do you have a precious metals IRA? If not, you might consider adding one to your investment portfolio.

This article discusses the essential precious metals IRA rules so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of IRA is right for you.

It will also cover what counts as a qualified metal and how to get started with your precious metals IRA among others. Let's get started.

Before we get started:

We understand how difficult it is to pick a company that you can trust with your hard earned savings.  That's why we create informative and useful information to give you as much knowledge as possible to make the right decision.

We created a list of our highest recommended investment companies, to make comparing and choosing the company best suited to your needs as easy as possible.


Get a FREE Gold Investing Kit from our #1 recommendation, by clicking the button below:

Learn How to Protect Your Wealth Today!

What Is a Precious Metals IRA?

A precious metals IRA is a type of retirement account that allows you to hold precious metals in your portfolio. These assets are held in a custodial account and can be used to supplement your other retirement savings. 

You can invest in various precious metals through your IRA, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These metals must meet certain standards set by the IRS to be included in your account.

Precious Metals IRA Rules You Should Know

You need to be aware of a few key rules before investing in a precious metals IRA. These include:

  • You Must Have an Account Set Up Before You Can Invest

The first step is to set up a self directed IRA account with a custodian or a trustee that offers this type of investment. Once your account is open, you can then begin the process of investing in precious metals.

  • There Are Annual Contribution Limits

There are annual contribution limits for IRAs, which also apply to precious metals IRAs. The contribution limit is $6,000 per year (or $7,000 if you're over 50).

  • You'll Be Charged Taxes When You Withdraw

Remember that you will be taxed on your withdrawals from a precious metals IRA. The IRS treats these types of assets as collectibles, so you'll be required to pay a 28% capital gains tax on your profits when you take them out of the account.

  • There Is a Required Minimum Distribution

Once you reach the age of 70 ½, you'll be required to take the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA. Otherwise, you expect to be charged 50% excise tax every year that passes without any withdrawal.

This rule applies to all types of IRAs, including precious metals IRAs.  The distribution must be taken as cash. You can't take a distribution in the form of physical metals.

Also, if you start taking your distribution from 59 ½, you will be subjected to income tax and sometimes a 10% withdrawal penalty. Be sure to consult your financial advisor to avoid penalties.

  • Precious Metals IRA Must Meet Standard Requirements

Not all precious metals are created equal. For a metal to qualify for a precious metals IRA, it must meet certain criteria set forth by the IRS.  

Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium qualify if they meet the minimum fineness and requirements. Gold must be 24 karats or higher, silver must be .999 fine, platinum must be .9995 fine, and palladium must be .9995 fine.  

Coins that qualify include the American Eagle, Australian Kangaroo, American Buffalo, Canadian Maple Leaf, Austrian Philharmonic, and Chinese Panda.

  • You Can Only Purchase Precious Metals from an Authorized Dealer

Once you know what types of precious metals you want to purchase, you'll need to find a dealer authorized by the IRS. These dealers must meet certain requirements and follow specific rules to sell metals for IRAs.  

You can't just purchase precious metals from any dealer - they must be specially authorized to complete the transaction.

  • There Are Specific Ways to Fund Your Precious Metals IRA Account

You'll need to fund your account to begin purchasing precious metals. The most common way to do this is by rolling over an existing retirement account, such as a 401(k) or traditional IRA. 

You can also fund your account with cash contributions, but annual limits apply. Another option is to do a direct transfer from another IRA account. This can be done without incurring any taxes or penalties.

  • You Can't Hold Physical Metals in Your Own Home

One of the key rules of a precious metals IRA is that you can't hold the physical metals in your home. The IRS requires that the metals be stored in an approved depository.  

This is to ensure that the metals are properly stored and protected. It also allows for easier tracking and reporting of the assets in your account.

  • Restrictions on Who Can Invest in a Precious Metals IRA

The only restrictions on who can invest in a precious metals IRA are the same as any other traditional IRA account. You must be at least 18 years of age and have earned income from a job or business to qualify.

There are also contribution limits that you'll need to be aware of based on age.

Tips for Choosing Precious Metals IRA Custodians

There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a precious metals IRA custodian including but not limited to the following: 

Be IRA Authorized 

The most important factor is to make sure that the IRS authorizes the custodian you choose. This will ensure that they meet all requirements and can properly store and protect your assets. 

Choose a Dealership with a Good Reputation 

You'll also want to choose a dealership that has a good reputation. This will ensure that you're getting the best possible service and working with a company you can trust. 

Get Multiple Quotes 

Be sure to get multiple quotes from different dealers before making a decision. This will allow you to compare prices and find the best deal. 

Read the Fine Print 

Be sure to read all of the fine print before making any decisions. This will help you avoid any unexpected fees or charges. Also, be sure to compare fees and costs before choosing a custodian.

Some annual charge fees, while others may have lower costs for buying and selling metals. 

Availability of a Wide Range of Precious Metals 

You'll want to choose a custodian that offers a wide range of precious metals. This will allow you to diversify your portfolio and protect your assets in multiple ways. 

Determine If Storage Is Insured 

One of the most important factors to consider is whether or not the storage facility is insured. This will protect your assets from theft, natural disaster, or any other type of loss.

What Are the Benefits of Owning a Precious Metals IRA Account?

There are many benefits to owning a precious metals IRA account. These include but are not limited to the following: 

Many Opportunities for Diversification 

One of the biggest benefits is that it allows you to diversify your investment portfolio. This is important because it helps protect your assets in a market crash or other economic downturn. 

Hedge Against Inflation 

Another benefit is that it can help you hedge against inflation. This is because precious metals tend to increase in value when the cost of living goes up. 

Protection from Economic Uncertainty 

Precious metals can also protect from economic uncertainty. They are not subject to the same volatility as stocks and other investments. 

It's a Long Term Investment 

Precious metals are also a good long-term investment. This is because they tend to hold their value over time and can be passed down to future generations.

What are the Risks of Investing in a Precious Metals IRA?

While there are many benefits to investing in a precious metals IRA, there are also some risks. These include but are not limited to the following: 

Market Volatility 

One of the biggest risks is market volatility. The price of precious metals can go up and down quickly, making it difficult to predict their value. 

Storage and Shipping Risks 

There is also the risk of theft or damage when the metals are stored or shipped. This is why choosing a custodian with insurance and a good reputation is important. 


Another risk to consider is taxes. You may have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell the metals. This can eat into your profits.

How Often Should You Review Your Precious Metals IRA Portfolio?

You should review your precious metals IRA portfolio at least once per year. This will allow you to make sure that your assets are properly diversified and that you're on track to meet your financial goals. 

Also, be sure to keep an eye on the market and watch for any changes that could impact the value of your metals. This way, you can make adjustments to your portfolio as needed.

How Will You Know When it's Time to Sell Your Precious Metals and Take Profits?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It will depend on your individual financial goals and circumstances. However, it's generally a good idea to take profits when the market is doing well and you're comfortable with the price of the metals. 

It's also important to keep in mind that precious metals can be a long-term investment. So, if you're not in a hurry to sell, you may want to hold onto them long-term.

Avoid These Common Mistakes People Make When Investing in Precious Metals IRA

Investing in a precious metals IRA can greatly diversify your portfolio and protect your assets. However, it's important to avoid these common mistakes. By doing so, you can protect your assets and maximize your profits.

Here are a few popular mistakes to avoid: 

Not Diversifying 

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not diversifying their portfolio. This is a mistake because it leaves you more exposed to market volatility and economic uncertainty. 

It's important to remember that no investment is completely safe. So, it's important to diversify your portfolio across multiple asset classes. This will help to reduce risk and protect your assets. 

Investing Too Much 

Another mistake people make is investing too much in precious metals. This is because the price of these metals can go up and down quickly. 

You should only invest an amount that you're comfortable losing. This way, if the market does turn for the worse, you won't be left with empty pockets. 

Not Doing Your Research 

Failure to do your research is a mistake because there are many different types of precious metals to choose from. Each one has its risks and rewards. 

So, you must understand the different options before investing. You can choose the best option for your individual needs and goals. 

Not Staying Up to Date on the Market 

The market is constantly changing, and precious metals are no exception. So, staying current on the latest news and developments would be best. This way, you can make informed decisions about your investments. 

Failing to Review Your Portfolio 

Last but not least, another mistake people make is failing to review their portfolios. This is a mistake because it can lead to missed opportunities and potential losses. 

At least once a year, you ought to assess your portfolio. Doing so may ensure that your assets are adequately diversified and that your financial objectives are being met.


Investing in a precious metals IRA can greatly diversify your portfolio and protect your assets. However, there are some risks to consider before making any decisions.

Be sure to research and speak with a financial advisor to ensure it's the right move for you.  

When done correctly, investing in precious metals can provide many benefits and help you reach your financial goals. Just be sure to keep an eye on the market and review your portfolio regularly.

This way, you can make adjustments and take profits when the time is right.

If you would like to work with a precious metals IRA company that can explain all the rules and help you avoid any penalties, click the link below.

You can get a Free Gold Investors Guide from our top gold and precious metals company recommendation by clicking the link above or you can read our article of the top companies we reviewed this year:

>> CLICK HERE to read our list of the Top Gold IRA Companies. <<