Precious Metals IRA FAQs

A precious metals IRA is a self-directed individual retirement account that invests in precious metals. This type of IRA appeals to an investor who wants a diversified portfolio. Because the prices of precious metals such as gold generally move in the opposite direction as paper assets, a precious metals IRA hedges against inflation.

Precious metals have proven to be a solid investment in volatile markets, so you can safeguard your investment when and if a recession hits. A precious metals IRA also protects against financial meltdowns and a weakening US dollar.

A precious metals IRA is a type of self-directed IRA. When you choose to invest in precious metals with your IRA, you determine all aspects of the investment, including the type and kind of metal, the dealer from whom to purchase your metals, and the depository that will store your precious metals.

If you’re about to retire, you will likely remember the effects of the 2008 Great Depression. Many people incurred huge losses and are still recovering from the financial impacts of the event. Bearing that in mind, investing in only paper assets like stocks and mutual funds leaves you vulnerable to another economic meltdown that could permanently delay or even wipe out your entire retirement savings.

Precious metals offer a unique stability in volatile economic situations when compared to paper-backed assets. Thus, a precious metals IRA would help you take advantage of the security and stability of precious metals.

Because paper-backed investments depend on the value of money, factors like interest rates and inflation can affect their value. While the US Government can continue to print more money every day, they can’t print precious metals. Precious metals are a limited resource, so their store of wealth remains stable, even with rising inflation.


In addition to being the most popular precious metal, gold is malleable, conductive, and resistant to corrosion. That makes it highly desirable for a wide range of uses. Other than a store of wealth, more than half of gold’s demand is for making jewelry. 

Thanks to its conductivity, gold is also commonly used in electronics. The ever-rising demand for technological gadgets in today’s information era will continue to drive gold’s price higher and higher.


Silver is used primarily in electronics. Its excellent electronic and thermal conductivity makes it ideal for industrial applications where you can’t substitute silver with cheaper metals. Device manufacturers also use silver in computers, solar panels, automotive parts, phones, tablets, televisions, and more.


Platinum finds its primary use in automotive applications such as catalytic converters to help reduce harmful emissions. Various industries also use it for jewelry and other refining catalysts, as well as some computer applications. Platinum has historically been as expensive as gold and is rarer than both gold and silver.


Palladium has applications in the automobile industry, dentistry, fuel cell production, and electronics. It’s 30 times rarer than gold and 15 times rarer than platinum. Like platinum, palladium is a critical component in automotive catalytic converters.

Because precious metals all have commercial and industrial applications, their value depends on more than just their exchange rate or investment demand. Supply and demand play crucial roles in determining their value. With a finite supply and a growing demand, their values keep rising. Therefore, investing in a precious metals IRA is a great opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio.

Any IRA has the legal capacity to purchase precious metals. However, most major custodians don’t offer precious metals as an investment option as they’re typically structured to hold only paper assets as managed funds. Since a precious metals IRA is a self-directed investment, it generally requires a custodian that offers self-directed IRA investments.

If your current custodian doesn’t offer precious metals as an investment option, we can help you initiate a tax-free direct transfer or rollover to a custodian who does.

An IRA transfer is a direct way to transfer your IRA funds from one custodian to another. The funds are sent directly from one custodian to another without any tax consequences. A transfer is more efficient and preferred when moving funds between like accounts, such as from one traditional IRA to another. There’s no limit on the number of transfers you can do in a calendar year.

You generally need to rollover when transferring funds between different accounts, such as from a 401(k) to an IRA. A rollover can be direct, meaning the funds are sent from one custodian to another, or indirect, where the custodian sends the funds to you. Indirect rollovers require you to move the funds within 60-days to another retirement account such as an IRA.

Failing to transfer the funds within the 60-day window will attract a tax charge and possibly an early withdrawal fine. You are only allowed a 60-day rollover once in any 12 months.

Whether you’re transferring funds from an existing retirement plan or IRA or setting up a new IRA, you may elect to pay the fees directly out of pocket via check or credit card or out of the assets in your IRA. Bear in mind that any fees you pay as part of your IRA setup charges are 100% tax-deductible.

First, you have to establish a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) with your new custodian. It’s a short 10 to 15-minute application process that we’ll walk you through. Make sure you have a copy of your driver’s license or state identification, your beneficiary information, as well as a copy of a statement from your current retirement account.

Alternatively, we can complete the application process over the phone and send it to you for review and signing. Once you’ve completed the application and we have it in our office, we’ll process and complete the opening of your new SDIRA. Your new SDIRA should be established within 24 hours.

Next, we’ll contact your current IRA custodian and make arrangements to complete the tax-free/penalty-free rollover of your retirement account funds. Transfers typically take between 3 to 10 business days, depending on how fast your custodian can send the funds. Once the custodian has transferred the funds to your new SDIRA account, we’ll contact you and discuss your precious metals options.

You’ll then decide what combination of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium is best for you. The metals supplier will then ship them to the secured depository, where the metals will be inspected and itemized before being placed into your deposit box.

Yes. You may choose to do a partial IRA rollover to a precious metals IRA. You’re also allowed to have multiple IRAs and split your IRA assets among different custodians.
At Century Gold, we don’t provide any paper of certificate products. When you open an SDIRA with us, your depository will have physical precious metals in your own safe box in compliance with IRS regulations.
You may only rollover IRAs or other retirement accounts that quality into an SDIRA. Retirement accounts that you can rollover/transfer include Roth, 401k, SEP or SIMPLE IRA, 457b, 403b, Thrift Savings accounts, or Pension Plans. Unfortunately, you cannot convert some employer-offered retirement plans into a precious metals IRA. Our precious metals advisors can help you determine the eligibility of your account.
Once you selected the types of metals you would like in your precious metals IRA, our team will ship your metals via an insured carrier to an IRA-approved depository.
Most financial advisors work for large brokerage companies that only sell paper-based assets like mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. As such, your financial advisor will likely want to ensure that all your assets remain under their control to maximize their profits and commissions. Unfortunately, most financial advisors have little to no precious metals expertise.
There are no penalties or taxes for transferring your retirement account into a precious metals IRA. Our team will follow all the proper procedures when working with you and your custodian during the transfer/rollover process to ensure you don’t incur any penalties or taxes for the transfer process.
Our Century Gold team can open your new SDIRA within one business day from when we receive your completed application. How long it takes to transfer funds from one retirement account to another will vary depending on your current IRA custodian. Most custodians transfer your funds within 7-10 business days. As such, the process usually takes between one and three weeks.
Your SDIRA custodian will provide you with online access to your account. That way, you can track the performance of your precious metals at any time. You will also receive a quarterly statement from your new custodian for free or a monthly statement mailed to you for an additional fee.
Yes, you can keep making contributions to your new SDIRA. You can either send your additional contributions to your new custodian, or a Century Gold Partner will make arrangements to have your contributions transferred automatically to your SDIRA. You may invest the contributions in additional precious metals or have them remain as cash in your account.
Your Century Gold Account executive will make all distribution and RMD arrangements on your behalf with the help of your new IRA custodian. Your Partner can either arrange for you to have your precious metals shipped to you directly or liquidate them for you, so you receive a cash payment.
Your new SDIRA has a flat fee charge, and there are no extra charges or percentages outside of a flat annual charge. All account maintenance charges are tax-deductible, and there are no other charges for having a precious metals IRA.
Although you may be keen to contact a precious metals broker and start investing in products that will build your precious metals IRA portfolio, it’s crucial that you read the IRA standards and guidelines beforehand. The IRS may assess the following things when determining the products that meet the precious metals IRA rules: The precious metals in a precious metals IRA must meet minimum purity levels as stated by the IRS:
  • Gold – .995
  • Silver -.999
  • Platinum -.9995
  • Palladium -.9995
The precious metals you place in a precious metals IRA must be held by a custodian approved by the IRS until you reach retirement age. Once you reach retirement age, you can begin taking distributions in the form of physical precious metals or sell them back at the market price.

There is plenty of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars that the IRS allows you to purchase in a precious metals IRA. Some of the more popular approved bullion coins are American Gold Eagles, American Silver Eagles, Austrian Philharmonics, and Canadian Maple Leaves.

Do you still have questions regarding precious metals IRAs? Don’t hesitate to contact Century Gold to speak to one of our precious metals investment experts.