Allowed and Disallowed Precious Metals in a Self-Directed Solo 401(k) – Part 2

As discussed in last week’s blog post, which can be found here: Investing in Precious Metals with your Self-Directed Solo 401(k) – Part 1, our self-directed solo 401(k)s allow account holders/plan sponsors to diversify their retirement account into certain precious metals. This post lists some common metals that are allowed and disallowed, per the IRS*.

*Image is for illustrative purposes only and does not necessarily depict allowed/disallowed coins.

Allowed Precious Metals Include: Bars and Rounds (produced by manufacturers accredited by Nymex/Comex, LME, LBMA, NYSE/Liffe/CBOT, and ISO-9000 or a national mint with the required minimum finesses as outlined below:


GOLD - .995+ purity (minimum finesses for bars)

American Eagle Coins (but coins such as the American Eagle, that have undergone “certification”, aka “slabbed” coins, are not acceptable in self-directed solo 401(k)s at this time.)

Australian Kangaroo/Nugget coins

Austrian Philharmonic coins

Canadian Maple Leaf coins

Credit Suisse-Pamp Suisse Bars .999

U.S. Buffalo Gold Uncirculated coins (no Proofs)


PLATINUM - .9995+ purity (minimum finesses for bars)

American Eagle coins (however, coins including the American Eagle, that have undergone “certification”–also known as “slabbed” coins–are not acceptable in Solo 401k at this time.

Australian Koala coins

Canadian Maple Leaf coins

Isle of Man Noble coins


SILVER - .9995+ purity (minimum finesses for bars)

American Eagle coins (however, coins including the American Eagle, that have undergone “certification”–also known as “slabbed” coins–are not acceptable in Solo 401k at this time)

Australian Kookaburra coins

Austrian Vienna Philharmonic coins

Canadian Maple Leaf coins

Mexican Liberated coins


PALLADIUM - .9995+ purity (minimum finesses for bars)


Disallowed Precious Metals Include:

Austrian 100, 20 and 10 Corona

Belgian 20 Franc

British Britannia

Chilean 100 Peso

Columbian 5 Peso British Sovereign

Dutch 10 Guilder

Franc 20 French

Hungarian 100 Korona

Italian 20 Lira

Mexican 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 1/2 and 2 Peso

Rare or Collectible Coins

South African Krugerrand

Swiss 20 Franc


Many investors believe that having precious metals as an asset class in their retirement portfolio is a great advantage due to their value generally keeping up with, or exceeding, inflation rates. However, investing in coins or bullion also has its disadvantages. For example, there is no current gain or income received while the metal is being held, such as interest accrual or rental income from real estate. In addition, the coin market can often be sporadic.


IRC Sections Regarding Coins and Bullion

Additional information - the following code section references allowable types of coins in a retirement account: Section 408(m)(3)(A) of the IRC (Internal Revenue Code), and following that, code Section 408(m)(3)(B) defines the bullion standards.


*Laws and regulations can change at any time. Allowed and disallowed metals could change without warning. This post is provided for informational purposes only. Please do your own research and due diligence before investing in precious metals or any other asset.



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