6 Best Precious Metals IRA Companies Compared

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In these uncertain times of global economic crisis, the equity markets have become increasingly unpredictable. Many IRA investors are concerned about the excessive exposure of their accounts to the stock market.

Inflation, driven by relentless money printing and reckless government spending, has prompted more investors to seek the stability of precious metals to safeguard their retirement funds.

Investing a portion of IRA savings in precious metals such as gold, silver, or even platinum has become an attractive option for many.

The comprehensive guide below explores how IRAs can be utilized to invest in bullion and actual precious metal coins and examines the impact of these investments on federal income tax.

Based on extensive research and feedback from our readers, we have identified the top companies to consider for these investments.


Goldco Precious Metals


Goldco is one of the most trusted in the industry, and its account representatives go the extra mile to make sure that both existing and potential customers receive all the information needed to make an informed decision.



Augusta Precious Metals-Small

Augusta Precious Metals

Exceptional level of customer service: 1000s of top ratings, 100s of customer reviews, and endorsements by conservative talk show hosts and hall of fame quarterback Joe Montana.

Known for one-on-one educational web conference designed by on-staff, Harvard-trained economic analyst.



american hartford gold logo

American Hartford Gold

American Hartford Gold is a family owned company that made the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.



Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group has established a solid reputation for close to two decades handling physical precious metals.



Noble Gold

Noble Gold

Noble Gold finds itself on this list as one of the best options for small investors due to its low minimum investment required and extensive educational resources provided.



advantage gold logo

Advantage Gold

Advantage Gold has a competitive pricing structure and top consumer ratings, which makes it one of the older precious metals IRA companies since it was established in 2010.


#1 Goldco

Goldco is our #1 recommendation because they are one of the most trusted names in the precious metals IRA industry, and we have never had a complaint about them from our readers.

Since they began over a decade ago they have risen to the top of the industry because they care about their customers.  

goldco logo

Goldco specializes in helping investors that have an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), TSP, savings or similar tax-efficient retirement account, protect their savings with an IRA that is allowed to hold physical precious metals.

While precious metals IRAs are Goldco's specialty, they also offer direct sales of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, to clients looking for a safe haven against out of control inflation.

Goldco can help you reduce the volatility in your retirement portfolio by adding exposure to the the stability of gold and silver in an IRA.  

They will be there for you every step of the process to ensure that your rollover stays within IRS guidelines and you don't get a tax penalty.

Join the thousands of Goldco customers that have safeguarded their wealth with gold and silver that can not be devalued and printed into oblivion.

  • Key Features

Highest Buyback Price Guaranteed

Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and Triple A by Business Consumer Alliance with ethical business practices that have resulted in thousands of satisfied customers and positive reviews.

100% FREE IRA Rollover

No high pressure sales tactics

Biggest Promotions in the industry (speak to a Goldco Specialist to learn more)

  • Negative of Goldco

- $25,000 minimum investment, which may be too much for some investors

Get Started Today with a Free Gold Information Kit from Goldco.

Augusta Precious Metals has risen to the top of the industry, and secured the runner up position on our list due in part to their white glove customer service.  

The famous 49'ers quarterback Joe Montana is a client.  He loved their mission so much that he also became their paid ambassador.

augusta precious metals logo

Joe Montana asked his financial advisors to find a way to protect his wealth and they selected Augusta Precious Metals for him over others. 

Augusta Precious Metals mission is to empower investors to take control and protect their savings by diversifying with gold and silver in tax-advantaged IRA accounts. 

Augusta has tons of positive reviews with many clients thanking the company for the unique one-on-one educational web conference designed by Augusta’s on-staff, Harvard-trained economist.

Augusta Precious Metals know investors are worried about inflation, volatility, and uncertainty in the world right now.  

They help their clients gain peace of mind and by walking them through creating their precious metals IRA, and they remain on hand for you with account lifetime customer service.

Real Customer Reviews: 

"Transferred two old 401k's to Augusta Precious Metals. was very easy, and the staff answered any Questions I had. took about two or three weeks from start to finish. I would highly recommend Augusta to anyone!"

- Jeffrey of Kaukauna, WI 5 star rating on Consumer Affairs 

  • Key Features

- No high-pressure sales tactics

- Zero fees for up to 10 years - everyone qualifies.

- Money magazine's "Best Overall" Gold IRA Company in 2022

- Rated A+ with the BBB and AAA with the BCA

- FREE GOLD when you open a gold IRA

- ZERO fees for up to 10 years (everyone qualifies)

  • Negative of Augusta Precious Metals

- $50,000 minimum investment, which may be too much for many investors

Contact Augusta Precious Metals today to learn how they can help support your retirement with gold and silver.

Located in Los Angeles, California American Hartford Gold has achieved tremendous success in a short time since its founding in 2015. 

american hartford gold logo

American Hartford Gold specializes in creating physical precious metals IRAs for investors looking to protect against turbulent times for generations but they also work with clients that are looking to make individual purchases of gold and silver to have discreetly delivered to their doorstep. 

American Hartford Gold works hard to provide customized solutions to help individuals and families diversify with the most reliable IRA-approved physical gold and silver products. 

The company believes in education is the key to success for their clients. Because of this clients have access to their Data Center, live precious metals charts and constant access to an account representative.

The customer service team is at your service to answer your questions and make the process of acquiring gold and silver as easy as possible.

American Hartford Gold has transparent pricing and reasonable IRA fees. Specifically, they don't charge any IRA fees, but your self-directed IRA institution does and these fees are generally about $180 a year.

Depending on the size of your order, American Hartford Gold may be able to cover these fees for you. Be sure to ask a representative about this when you contact them.

As far as precious metals storage options are concerned, AHG can deliver the products discreetly to your doorstep for individual cash purchases.

For IRA purchases, clients can choose from a list of several IRS-approved depositories located across the country that American Hartford Gold can deliver directly to. 

AHG has made it so opening an account online is easy, and only takes a few minutes. Their account representative will walk you through opening an account and filling out paperwork. 

You can get your account created and funds transferred over in as short as 3 business days. 

The minimum investment is just $10,000. This is among the lowest for precious metals IRAs and a good option if you only want to transfer a small portion of your IRA into physical precious metals.

To learn more, please read our complete American Hartford Gold review.

  • Key Features

- Only firm endorsed by Bill O’Reilly and Rudy Giuliani

- Has an excellent customer ratings

- Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

- Minimum investment is $10,000

  • Negatives of American Hartford Gold

- No pricing listed on the website

- No options for international shipping

Get started today with a Free Gold Investing Kit from American Hartford Gold.

Birch Gold Group is an established company that specializes in bullion and precious metals.  

In these uncertain times, Birch Gold Group takes pride in showing investors how precious metals investments can protect their retirement, even as the economy gets shaky.

birch gold group logo

Their mission is to empower clients through knowledge.  They listen to all of their client's objectives, motivations and concerns.

Your Birch Gold Group representative will give you an opportunity to ask any question, about precious metals or our company, and they will give you a straight-forward answer.

Since 2003 Birch Gold Group has been helping customers diversify their portfolios with gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.  They do this with most clients by creating precious metals IRAs making the setup process feel smooth and simple.

Birch also works with clients that want to make direct cash purchases of precious metals as well.

If you're concerned about the dollar’s consistent loss in value or the uncertainty of the stock market, diversifying into a precious metals IRA can give you peace of mind.

To learn more, please read our complete Birch Gold Group review.

  • Key Features

- First year fees waived on IRAs over $50,000

- Free shipping for cash purchases over $10,000

- Up to $10,000 in free precious metals on qualified purchases

- Low minimum investment to start and IRA of $10,000

- Easy to use website with tons of educational materials

  • Negative of Birch Gold Group

They only do business with U.S. clients 

Get started today with a Free Gold Investing Kit from Birch Gold Group.

Noble Gold has been helping clients secure their retirement savings with precious metals for over 20 years.  

They help ensure their client's wealth with safe and simple ways to buy precious metals with an understanding of how to increase investment value for them.

noble gold logo

Noble Gold calls precious metals "Security You Can Hold".  

Believe it or not, most investors do not have any physical precious metals in their investment portfolios.  Noble Gold educates clients how gold and silver can help to stabilize their investments and keep their retirement secure. 

Precious metals are real, tangible assets that have historically run on opposite tracks to stocks, currency, and paper-backed assets, giving smart investors a buffer against political and economic risk.

Noble Gold makes buying precious metals inside of a tax-protected IRA simple and they handle nearly all of the paperwork for their clients.

To learn more, please read our complete Noble Gold review

  • Key Features

- Simple 3-step IRA process

- Focus on long term wealth preservation, not speculative trading

- They have a gold depository in Texas

  • Negative of Noble Gold

They do not have an international storage option

Advantage Gold is an up and coming company in the precious metals space built on innovation and technology.  They have been listed on the Inc. 500 list of top companies.

Advantage Gold goal is to be a one stop shop for investors looking to invest in precious metals as well as crypto currencies. 

advantage gold logo

The company has helped thousands of investors  IRA, SEP, 401(k), 403(b) or TSP plan from former employers into precious metals and crypto IRAs.

Advantage Gold gets reviews because they put their clients first by investing time with them to educate each client to the point they are totally comfortable with how precious metals can help diversify and protect their nest egg.

The company representatives listen to their customers and only recommend products that suit the individual needs of each customer.  This commitment to client satisfaction has landed Advantage Gold as a official member of Forbes Magazine's Finance Council.

To learn more, please read our complete Advantage Gold review.

  • Key Features

Successful investment company listed on Inc. 500 and Forbes Magazine

- Transparent fee and commission schedule

- Worldwide precious metals delivery covered with insurance

  • Negative of Advantage Gold

Some of our readers have reported higher than average gold prices 

Precious Metal Assets In IRA Accounts

The internal revenue code appears to discourage investing and holding metal assets in an IRA because of the risks involved. This is well portrayed in its take that any investment in a coin or metal Is deemed acquisition of a collectible asset.

As such, you can characterize the transaction for income tax as a taxable IRA distribution, after which the IRA owner buys the coin or these metals.

man looking at a clipboard

This regulation prevents IRAs from making any form of investment in any coin or metal that has been manufactured from precious metals.

Congress has come to save investors from the limitations of this regulation by confirming an essential legal exception to the above general rule.

The exception states that IRAs may put their investments in certain platinum silver and gold coins, as well as silver, palladium bullion, gold, and platinum that meet the applied standards of purity.

The bullion or coins must be in the hands of an IRA custodian or trustee instead of the actual IRA owner. These kinds of regulations apply to Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, traditional IRAs, and SEP IRAs.

IRA Investments In Physical Bullion And Metal Coins

Due to the above tax code exemption, IRA owners can own some precious metal bullion and coins.

For instance, American Platinum Eagle coins; American Silver eagle coins; Canadian maple leaf gold coins; American gold eagle coins; and palladium bars(bullion), silver, gold, and platinum that meet the applied purity standards.

And silver bars must achieve purity of at least 99.9% and gold bars at least 99.5%. 

A precious metals IRA custodian normally charges a one-time account opening fee (around $50- $100), yearly account maintenance fees, administrative fees for filling out bank statements, etc.

Other expenses may include insurance fees ( $100-$300 or an amount that depends on the value of the funds stored) and ( $50-$300 or an amount that depends on the account's value).

Additional transaction fees may apply, including distributions, commissions, and contributions fees for buying and selling precious metals ( 2 to 5%).

Why Don't Financial Advisors Recommend Precious Metals IRAs?

Very few investors in the U.S. own an ounce of silver or gold bullion, so it's not surprising that it is the rare few who are aware of the different options of holding an IRA account. 

Generally, a lack of awareness is often exacerbated by financial professionals, whose task is to offer education to investors.

It offers a much better option for cautious investors concerned with a limited paper portfolio. The option is better known as a self-directed IRA.

When you give yourself full power in your portfolio, you can directly invest in various things other than registered securities, such as precious metals, real estate, and private companies.

You can solve the problem yourself by setting up a self-directed account. Here, you can buy valuable coins and bars of gold or silver and receive immediate protection against the dollar's real and tangible metal devaluation.

And when you're done, you can physically own precious metals through IRA distributions and completely avoid exposure to paper assets or dollar-denominated investments.  

The easiest and most common way to fund a gold IRA is by completing a gold IRA rollover converting and old 401k or IRA into an account that can hold physical precious metals.

Many precious metal-backed ETFs investors switched from these proxies to self-directed IRAs with physical bullion and kept them in the facilities chosen by the investors.

While ETFs provide some benefits to high-frequency or short-term traders, the risks associated with owning precious metals ETFs are becoming increasingly apparent.

The Advantages Of Precious Metals In An IRA

  • Precious metals such as silver and gold can be used to hedge equity inflation and fluctuations
  • The profits from asset growth and tax-deferred
  • Precious metals offer true portfolio diversification
  • Precious metals are physical assets that you can touch

Which metals can be included in a Precious Metals IRA?

  • Gold bars: The gold bug must have a fineness of 0.995+ or 24 karats. They must be hallmarked by a COMEX or NYMEX-approved assayer or refiner. These bars come in 400 Oz, 100 Oz that 2.15 Oz, 10 oz, and 1 oz.
  • Gold coins: The gold coins must have a purity of 0.9999 fineness or 24 karats Cept for the 22 karats U.S. Gold Eagle.

The gold bullion coins from Canada, Austria, Australia, and America are acceptable, unlike the South African Krugerrand that is unacceptable because it is a 22 karat bullion coin.

  • Silver bars and coins: They must contain a finest of 0.999 like the 1 oz Canadian silver maple leaf, Mexican silver Libertad, and U.S. Silver Eagle bullion coins. It is possible to buy silver bars of 1000 Oz or 100 Oz.

The pre-1965 bags of U.S. silver coins (silver dollars, half dollars, quarters, dimes) are not allowed in an IRA as their alloy contains 90% of silver only.

  • Palladium and platinum coins and bars: They need fineness of 0.9995+ and a COMX or NYMEX hallmark. Private companies that make palladium and platinum bars from 1 ounce to 100 ounces with hallmarks are acceptable.

Both Canadian and USA mints manufacture 1-ounce platinum coins that meet these requirements. Other nations such as Australia and Great Britain still manufacture 1-ounce platinum coins which are acceptable even if not known like the Canadian and U.S. coins.

What To Watch Out For:

If an IRA buys precious metals that fail to meet the IRA-specific requirements, these metals are deemed collectible items. At the time of purchase, these precious metals are considered to have been distributed from the IRA.

In the same case, if there is a violation of the storage requirements, the metals are deemed distributed on the date the violation occurred.

According to the IRS private letter ruling 2002 1705, the consequences of this kind of distribution is that the value of the precious metal amount is considered distributed and is subjected to the prevailing penalties and taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Variations In The Holding Of Precious Metals In The Precious Metals IRA?

It is possible to hold precious metals in the IRA in the form of unallocated and allocated physical silver bullion, gold, exchange-traded funds, and certificates.

How Do Unallocated And Allocated Storage Differ?

The segregated or allocated storage applies to bars of gold that are at least 10 oz, ensuring that these bars are stored differently from other precious metals in the vault.

These gold bars can be identified by serial number, refinery, and size. During the distribution of these precious metals from the depository, only the exact bars that were initially deposited will be distributed.

For unsegregated or unallocated storage, the precious metals are commingled in a depository precious metals account. These bars are identified using refinery, weight, and size, for instance, a 100 ounces J.M. silver bar.

When these precious metals are distributed from the depository, the distribution is based on the refinery and the bar size, ensuring that only initially deposited bars will be distributed.

Coins are categorized according to the year and type of minting—for instance, a 1992 American Silver Eagle. During the distribution of the coin from the depository, the coin will be of the same year as the initially deposited coin.

Can You Store Precious Metals At Home?

The IRS discourages storing precious metals in an IRA at home. The IRA precious metals should be stored in a bank or a qualifying deposit. Established investment companies that work with precious metals will be able to work with a qualifying depository.

Why Should I Use A Depositary?

The IRS requirements have it that silver and gold must be in a physical depositary or trustee possession. It means you cannot hold on to silver or gold or even keep them in the safe deposit box of your local bank.

Are There Any Age-Related Requirements With The IRA Owners?

Considering the volatility and the risks that accompany precious metal prices, investing in IRA metal assets is an issue when the retirement age is reached or approached due to the potential losses.

You can proceed and invest in precious metals if you have already invested in other low-risk investments.

You are required to withdraw the corresponding amount from the accounts at least once during the year.

For instance, you could be having an IRA that invested in liquid assets such as mutual funds and traded stocks and another IRA that invested in precious metals like bullion.

When the IRA precious metals owner reaches 72 years, the IRA requires taking minimum distributions (RMDs). The person's traditional IRAs, including SIMPLE IRAs and SEP-IRAs, need to have enough liquidity to allow RMDs.

You can decide to take the yearly RMD from your liquid account and leave the account for precious metals untouched.

The Suspension Of RMDs For 2020 By The Cares Act

The Necessity Of Doing Your Due Diligence

If you want to explore more IRA precious metals investments, you may need additional due diligence. Research on other things related to precious metals investment apart from IRS guidance and rules.

You can use the internet to carry out the research, even on your prospective dealer. You can use the secretary of state's website in the home state of the investment company to check for how long the investment company has been in the business.

Check for the investment company's key personnel and owners, and then search the internet to learn more about them.

When doing this kind of due diligence, you might be surprised to find out ties to the precious metals investment company, lawsuits, and complaints on how the investment company is doing business and is facing prosecution for illegal business dealings.

You can discover what investors are saying about the dealer and their experiences on forums and online review websites such as BBB's website.

You can only use one proper way to own these metals in your IRA. Begin by choosing a custodian and then set up a self-directed account. Buy bullion from a reputable investment company and then store it in a third-party vault that is reputable. 

At all costs, you want to be sure to avoid gold IRA scams, that is why it is crucial to work with an established, reputable precious metals company like the ones we recommend and have researched extensively. 

Final Thoughts

IRAs can invest in precious metals such as silver, platinum, palladium, and gold in different ways. You will have to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each way and then decide on which one suits you.

If you are confused about choosing the best investment for you, keep reading this blog and speak to your investment and tax advisors.