One of the most common investment options for IRA accounts are precious metals, these are “special” metal elements that are less reactive than other metals, which make them more valuable for investors. The most common precious metals, “gold, silver, platinum and palladium”, often have currency codes and can be also be used in industrial commodities. IRA companies often offer precious metals as bullions and coins.
You often heard about gold or silver “bullions”, the term “bullions refer to the bulk form of the precious metal, which is used for trading on commodity markets. The bullion can be minted into coins as well as cast into ingots, with the defining characteristic placed on the “mass and purity” as the ones that determines actual value, rather than the face value printed on the metal.
The purity level of the precious metal can vary from one commodity to another. You will often hear about the three nine percentage purity set at 99.9%, which is the most common in the industry. The most pure precious metal produced as of this writing is the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, which is said to have as high as 99.999% purity of gold. Finding 100% purity is not common since the purity percentage diminish progressively. Minting companies can sometimes include a certain alloy, with higher weight purity percentage of the precious metal.
Most highly developed nations mint bullion coins where they issue the commodity as a legal tender. However, the face value of the coin is often a non factor, as the determining price is dictated by the “purity and mass” according to the current price in the market. For example, the American Gold Eagle with face value of $100 has a weight of gold at 60 grams. Taking into account the current price at the market of gold as of August 2014 which is 41.7 per gram, give the American Gold Eagle coin an actual price of $2,500. One of the highest valued bullion coins are the Australian Gold Nugget coin which has 1 kilogram of 99.9% gold purity. Nations do not mint small number of bullion coins because they are considered not practical, and most often they develop the commodity in large amounts and quantities.
Precious metals are often used by individuals as hedge from inflation and protection from a nation’s financial downturn. Gold has always been a popular choice on IRA accounts, though they are the most expensive. Silver, which is priced lower than gold, has been chosen by most people to be part of their collector items (though still have good value). Platinum and palladium are the other options for precious metal investments, though not the most in demand for beginners who like to open an IRA account.