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Can You Own Physical Gold in an IRA?

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Gold can offer retirement savers an effective way to diversify their portfolio and build wealth; but before purchasing gold through your IRA it’s crucial that you fully understand any associated risks.

If you decide to invest in physical gold through your IRA, it is wise to work with an established precious metals IRA specialist who can guide the purchase and save both time and money by helping guide through every step of the process. They are experts at taking you step by step through every stage of the buying process so they can guide you efficiently from start to finish – saving both precious minutes as well as precious dollars!


IRAs are one of the best vehicles for tax-efficient investing. Their flexible structure enables you to diversify your investments while earning tax-deferred returns until retirement.

Traditional and Roth gold IRAs enable investors to invest in an assortment of precious metals and bullion forms, including bars or rounds produced at refineries approved by NYMEX or COMEX or national government mints which meet minimum fineness requirements.

Physical gold in an IRA does not come with any special tax advantages; as with any investment, withdrawals of your IRA funds during retirement will incur ordinary income tax liabilities.

Cash-out costs must also be included when selling gold to a third-party dealer unless prices have significantly increased since you purchased it. If selling for cash, ensure the dealer will buy back at wholesale rates.


As with any investment, owning physical gold in an IRA comes with certain regulations. Most importantly, this requires having your gold stored at an approved depository by the IRS.

The IRS prohibits you from keeping gold stored at home or in a safe deposit box and may levy severe tax and penalty penalties if discovered doing so.

Investment in gold may be achieved indirectly via stocks, mutual funds and ETFs – though this might not be the most efficient means.

Self-directed gold IRAs allow you to own physical bullion in your account. This may include gold bars or coins that meet IRS minimum purity requirements.


Gold is an increasingly popular investment among those seeking to diversify their portfolios and add more asset exposure in retirement accounts. Furthermore, the metal serves as a hedge against inflation and may rise in value when stock markets decline.

To own physical gold in an IRA, first open a self-directed IRA with an IRS-approved custodian that offers physical gold investments. Your self-directed IRA account will then hold your gold for you at an IRS depository.

Physical gold for your self-directed IRA can range in cost from several hundred dollars up to several thousand. There may also be maintenance and storage fees with your custodian; while gold brokers may charge markups that exceed spot market price as well as take a cut when selling, which can eat into your account balance quickly when selling.


If you plan to add physical gold to your IRA, make sure that it is stored with a reliable custodian such as Brinks or Delaware Depository Service. At you can find a comparison of the top custodians.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is if it is possible to own physical gold in an IRA account, and we provide the answer: yes – provided you follow IRS regulations.

Your gold must be stored in an IRS-approved depository; otherwise, fines and penalties could apply to your IRA account.

Make sure that any gold you own is kept safe by placing it in a bank vault at home or another secure place of residence, as failing to do so would violate IRS regulations and potentially put you in legal hot water with them.

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