Best Silver Coins in an IRA?

Silver Coins Have Massive Opportunity For Growth in 2020best silver bullion coins for an ira

But with such a wide choice of silver bullion products available, what silver coins are best inside an IRA?

Whether you buy based on low premiums or you invest in silver coins you find visually appealing, adding silver coins inside your IRA can be an excellent decision.

Here are OUR top silver coin choices for an IRA – do you agree?

why invest in silver coinsThe main reason for owning silver in an IRA, is to allow your account to take advantage of silver’s proven wealth-protection and market-hedging abilities.

Not only that, but silver is massively undervalued at the moment, with even conservative estimates suggesting the metal could see $25-$30 oz within the next twelve months.

With rapidly growing industrial use across both tech and eco/environmental fields there has never been a better time to buy silver – and coins are America’s most popular choice of silver in an IRA.


Best Silver Coin #1: The American Silver Eagle

american silver eagleThe United States Mint produces our most popular silver bullion coin – a longstanding top choice for patriotic silver stackers, value investors and for use within an IRA.

Thanks to the coin being produced by the US Mint, it is one of the few named examples listed by the IRS as a suitable silver investment in a self directed IRA. Not only that, but the IRS even breaks it’s own non-collectibles rule when it comes to Silver Eagles: Proof American Silver Eagle coins ARE allowed!

First released on November 24, 1986 the American Silver Eagle is struck from one troy ounce of .999 fine (99.9% pure) silver and has a nominal face value of $1.00 – it’s purity, weight and size certified by the US Mint and fully written into law by the Liberty Coin Act of July 9, 1985. There are no fractional Silver Eagles.

Featuring Walking Liberty, designed by Adolph A. Weinman in 1916 on the front (obverse) and a heraldic eagle with shield and thirteen five-pointed stars to the rear designed by John Mercanti in 1986, it’s a highly attractive coin that somehow embodies everything that is America in a 1.598 in diameter reeded disk.

Silver Eagles are produced across three federal mints – the Philadelphia Mint, the San Francisco Mint, and the West Point Mint.

Available in bullion grade (standard finish, may have scratches), uncirculated (better finish) and proof (perfect mirror-like finish) , other collectable versions or special issues may be burnished, antiqued and even colorized – but for IRAs, only the bullion and proof versions are allowed.

Because Silver Eagles are America’s most popular legal tender bullion coin, they are available at some of the lowest premiums in America, and often significantly lower than bars of an equivalent weight. Only silver rounds and other popular coins like Silver Maples or special offers can beat the best prices available on Eagles – especially for bulk buys.

Universally easy to buy and sell, American Eagles are perhaps the most liquid investment available in silver coins and are a must-have for any metals portfolio, inside or outside of an IRA.

Top Silver Coin #2: The Silver Maple Leaf

canadian silver maple leafAnother highly popular coin from our immediate neighbors, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is issued by the Government of Canada and produced on their behalf by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Minted from silver with purity of 99.99%, the Silver Maple offers one of the most pure bullion coins available in the market and as standard contains 1 troy ounce of the metal.

First released in 1988, the obverse features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain – one of three designs by artists Arnold Machin, Dora de Pédery-Hunt and Susanna Blunt, depending on the year of the coin. The rear design is of a Canadian Maple Leaf, produced by unnamed RCM engravers in 1988 and unchanged since, with the exception of some added security features.

Although most silver Eagles are 1oz weight with a 1.4948 in diameter and serrated edge, there are some fractional Silver Maples in 1/2oz, 1/4oz and 1/10oz sizes although these tend to be part of collectable sets.

Like the US Silver Eagles, Maple Leafs are legal tender bullion coins with a face value of $5.00Can and are available in 3 finishes, bullion, uncirculated and proof. Only bullion grade coins are suitable for an IRA, due to the far higher premiums on collectables making them fail the IRS requirement that coins for an IRA must have a value based only on the intrinsic silver content.

Similarly Maples are universally popular across the world and are very easy to buy and sell.

Canadian Silver Maples are one of the few legal tender coins suitable for an IRA that can be found with premiums below that of US Mint Silver Eagles, making them another excellent buy.


Top Silver Coin #3: The Silver Britannia

uk silver britanniaProduced by the UK’s Royal Mint – the world’s oldest mint established in 886AD – Silver Britannias offer American investors a premium branded UK legal tender coin at a far lower premium than they are available in the UK or Europe.

First Minted in 1997, its important to note that for IRA use, only Britannias minted from 2013 onwards are included. This is because prior to 2013, Silver Britannias were cast from .958 silver, a purity lower than that permitted in an IRA (.999+) – whereas coins minted from 2013 are minted in 99.9% pure silver – and are therefore allowed.

The standard legal tender bullion coins have a face value of two pounds sterling and contain 1 troy ounce of fine silver and a diameter of 1.52 inches. Other sizes and denominations have been minted but these are typically collector items and not suitable for in an IRA.

Current 1oz Silver Britannias feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front designed by Jody Clark in 2015, with a depiction of Britannia to the rear, designed by Philip Nathan in 1987. Other designs do exist, notably the commemorative “Death Star” Britannia, designed by Jody Clark in 2015 with a face value of £50.00 although these are usually priced as collectibles – and even their face value exceeds the value of silver within.

Silver Britannias can be more difficult to find in the US because the UK Royal Mint is very particular about licensed stockists – but when a bullion dealer does stock them, they are usually available at a special discounted premium, passed on at wholesale by the Royal Mint in a bid to grow the coin’s US take-up.

Sometimes available at lower premium than even the Silver Eagle or Silver Maple, Silver Britannias can offer one of the best value top-tier coins available and achieve excellent premiums on the secondary market.

How do these silver coins compare to other coins or rounds?

We studied coin prices across a number of major US dealers to see what premiums were available on coins and generic rounds – and these are our average findings:

Average Premium By Coin Size for Branded, Generic and Bulk
Size / BrandPremium BrandedGeneric CoinBulk Buy
1oz Eagle18.1%14.0%
1oz Maple16.4%11.3%
1oz Britannia19.1%12.2%
1oz Philharmonic20.5%11.8%
1oz Kangaroo16.5%12.0%
1oz Libertad27.5%19.0%


Want more? Learn how to buy silver coins in the most cost-effective and tax-efficient manner – our free IRA Guide and Investor Kit, can be delivered 100% free of charge direct to your doorstep.

Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He's also a published author, and his views on investing have been featured in USA Today, Tech Times, The Huffington Post, Nasdaq, and many more.

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