Gold & Precious Metals

Investing in Precious Metals with your IRA

Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium can be an important part of a well-diversified retirement portfolio, giving you the option to invest in something tangible that can weather a financial crisis. Not only can you purchase, hold and sell precious metals with a tax-advantaged self-directed IRA account, you can also withdraw your bullion or coins and take direct physical possession of them.

Before investing in Precious Metals, please read the alerts issued by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) so you can protect yourself from precious metals scams:

Looking to diversify your retirement portfolio with precious metals?

For years only gold and silver U.S. coins were allowed as IRA investments under federal guidelines. Now you can invest in most types of gold, silver, platinum and palladium through a self-directed IRA, making it easier than ever to create a truly diversified portfolio.

Popular bullion products allowed in IRAs:


Gold bullion or proof coins include American Eagle, American Buffalo, Australian Kangaroo or Nugget, Austrian Philharmonic, and more.

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Silver bullion or proof coins such as American Eagle, American America the Beautiful, Australian Kookaburra, Austrian Philharmonic, and more.

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Platinum bullion and proof coins such as American Eagle, Australian Koala, Canadian Maple Leaf, Isle of Man Noble, and more.

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Palladium bullion coins such as Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins, and more.

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Precious metal storage options

In compliance with IRS rules, precious metals owned in an IRA may not be held by the IRA owner. When providing your investment direction to STRATA Trust Company for the purchase of precious metals, you will be required to select a third-party depository location for the physical storage of your IRA-owned precious metals. STRATA works with Delaware Depository and Texas Precious Metals Depository (TPMD). Depositories are responsible for conducting annual audits, incorporating quality control methods, carrying insurance, and conducting authentication testing.

When selecting a depository, how your metals will be stored (commingled or segregated) is an important distinction.

  • What is commingled storage?  If you select commingled storage, your precious metals will be held in a segregated storage area for STRATA customers but will be commingled with other STRATA customers within the storage area. When you later decide to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution of your precious metals, you will receive “like” precious metals (not the exact metals that you initially purchased).
  • What is segregated storage? If you select segregated storage, your precious metals will be held in a segregated storage area for STRATA customers and will be segregated, marked, and stored with your name and IRA account number. When you later decide to sell, exchange, or take an in-kind distribution of your precious metals, you will receive the exact metals that you initially purchased.


Commingled Storage ✔ Yes X No
Segregated Storage ✔ Yes (Except Silver) ✔ Yes
Locations(s) Wilmington, DE & boulder City, NV Shiner, TX
Withdrawal FAQs Learn More Learn More

Once the metals make it to the depository of your choice, STRATA will be notified and we will update your account information to include the depository location. Your annual storage fee will be billed to you by STRATA in conjunction with your STRATA annual IRA fee.  Please refer to our IRA Fee Schedule for more information.

What you should know before you buy precious metals


STRATA has no affiliation with any dealers or their sales representatives. 

STRATA Trust Company is not affiliated with and does not endorse or promote any precious metal dealer. STRATA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Horizon Bank in Austin, Texas. Your precious metal dealer may recommend that you open an IRA with a custodian like STRATA, because federal law requires that you have an IRA custodian to handle the administration, custody and reporting needs for your IRA. In addition, the sales representatives employed by a dealer are not agents or representatives of STRATA. If any dealer or sales representative makes a misleading statement to you that infers they are an affiliate or agent of STRATA, we ask that you report this directly to STRATA.

Complete your own due diligence when choosing a precious metal dealer.

STRATA does not conduct a due diligence review of any precious metal dealer.  We encourage you to do your own research and educate yourself before choosing a dealer and buying precious metals with your IRA funds.  Few states have regulatory oversight of precious metal dealers. Therefore, it’s important that you do your own due diligence to protect your retirement savings.

  1. Use sites such as the Better Business Bureau ( to find whether the dealer is accredited and rated, how long the dealer has been in business, and review the dealer’s history of any consumer complaints or disputes. Be aware of any dealer that you can’t find any information about.
  2. Check to see if the dealer is a member of any industry trade groups such as American Numismatic Association (ANA), Professional Numismatics Guild (PNG), and Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA). To be a member, dealers must agree to abide by a code of conduct and be willing to resolve customer disputes.
  3. Be aware of dealers that use high pressure sales tactics in their sales calls to try to get you to do business with them – and don’t reveal any personal information about your income, your age or your assets, including how much you may have in savings or retirement accounts.
  4. Read the recent Precious Metal Fraud Advisory issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Association, and view the CFTC’s consumer protection video on Precious Metals Fraud.
  5. Be familiar with the different pricing terms (spot, bid and ask) and understand what they mean.

The price you pay when purchasing precious metals through a dealer is important.

The purchase price you are quoted by a dealer and agree to pay when you sign the dealer’s transaction agreement is important to understand because it includes the dealer’s profit on the transaction. Within the precious metals industry, the difference between the dealer’s cost of the precious metals and the purchase price you pay is known as the “spread”.

Spreads can vary significantly based on the type of precious metal as well as the dealer you select. In addition, the price spread is generally greater for proof coins than it is for bullion precious metals. In general, a dealer’s spread may typically charge 2-10% on common bullion products, while a spread on proofs (semi-numismatics) can range from 4-35%.

For this reason, it is important to obtain all necessary information from your dealer before investing. STRATA recommends that you conduct your due diligence on the dealer, and obtain quotes from several dealers before placing your transaction. See our FAQ section on Gold & Precious Metals for more information.

The value that will be reflected on your STRATA account will be based on Spot price.

Your STRATA account statement and online account access will reflect the valuation of precious metals is based on spot value, which is the current spot price multiplied by the ounces of fine metal contained in the coin or bar. Spot value is considered a fairly conservative value, and does not include any premiums, mark-ups, mark-downs or commissions charged by a dealer. This valuation should be used as an indication of value only and should never be interpreted as a bid price to buy by any broker or dealer. The actual precious metals type and quantity of a transaction may affect the price received for any given bullion item. 

In addition to your account statements and online account access, spot price is also used to report the fair market value of your account to the IRS.

Price indications for specific bullion products may be obtained from various sources, including your precious metals broker dealer or on sites such as



Precious Metals Investment Checklist

A self-directed IRA in precious metals can be a rock-solid investment prospect for many investors, but it’s important to understand the process before opening an account.

Download our Precious Metals Investment Checklist for a document checklist and step-by-step guide. 

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How to get started

Overview the onboarding process and open your new STRATA IRA.

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Fund your IRA with a transfer, rollover, or annual contribution.

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Find the dealer you want to work with for your precious metals purchase and provide the items outlined in our Precious Metals Investment Checklist.

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Have questions?

If you still want to know more about self-directed IRAs in gold and precious metals, we’re always here to help.


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