Five Silver Coins for Your Gold IRA


J.B. Maverick has over 17 years of experience as an active trader. He is a former commodity futures broker and stock market analyst.




Five Silver Coins for Your Gold IRA
Five Silver Coins for Your Gold IRA


Adding IRS-approved silver coins to your precious metals IRA might turn out to be a really smart move. Silver’s recent performance indicates the possibility of much higher silver prices by the end of the year.

In addition, the gold-to-silver price ratio has begun dropping. If it continues to decline, then the price of silver may prove to have significantly higher upside potential – in percentage return on investment (ROI) terms - relative to the price of gold.

In case you weren’t aware, your Gold IRA isn’t limited to only investments in gold. In fact, “Gold IRA” is generic term that refers to any precious metals IRA. That means that you’re free to include in your Gold IRA investments in other precious metals, such as silver and platinum - provided, of course, that you stick by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines for eligible precious metals IRA investments. Your Gold IRA can consist of just investments in gold – or it can be made up of investments solely in silver (in which case, it would technically be a Silver IRA) – or you can put together a Gold IRA portfolio that consists of a mix of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins and/or bullion.

The IRS Requirements for Silver Coins to be Included in a Precious Metals IRA

Silver coins have been an IRS-approved IRA investment since 1997. However, the purity requirement that the IRS has for silver coins and bullion in an IRA is even more stringent than the requirement for gold coins and bullion. While gold coins or bullion that are invested in an IRA must be at least 99.5% pure gold, the IRS requirement for silver coins or bullion is that they must be a minimum of 99.9% pure silver. (An alternate way of expressing 99.9% purity is .999 purity, or .999 fine.)

The strict IRS purity requirement just means that you have to be a careful shopper when you’re looking for silver coins to add to your precious metals IRA. Fortunately, nearly all major, online precious metals dealers identify on their website what silver coins are eligible to be included in a precious metals IRA. And, of course, your Gold IRA company can also provide you with a list of eligible silver products to consider adding to your IRA. If you ever have a question about the eligibility of any gold or silver product for inclusion in a precious metals IRA, be sure to consult them.

Five Silver Coins to Add to Your Precious Metals IRA

As noted, the strict IRS purity requirement makes for a rather short list of silver coins that make the grade for inclusion in a Gold IRA. Following below is a list of five of the most popular IRA-eligible silver coin choices among investors. All of the coins on our list are well known and highly liquid, and each has its own distinctive characteristics that make it a desirable investment.

1 - American Silver Eagle Coin

The American Silver Eagle is undoubtedly one of the most popular silver bullion coins in the world. Produced by the United States Mint since 1986, it’s the companion coin to the also-popular American Gold Eagle.

One of the reasons for the fondness of investors and collectors for the US Silver Eagle is Adolph Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design (actually, “Walking Lady Liberty”, although it’s rarely referred to that way), which appears on the obverse (front) side of the coin. Weinman’s design originally adorned US half dollars, back when they were still made of pure silver. The eagle and stars design on the reverse side of a Silver Eagle coin was created by John Mercanti when American Silver Eagles were first minted.

America Eagle Silver coin
All coin images are courtesy of

Each American Silver Eagle consists of one troy ounce of .999 pure silver. The coins have a nominal face value of $1. Both the weight and nominal value of the coin are inscribed on the coin’s reverse side.

Silver Eagles are minted in three grades: bullion, or standard – uncirculated, which has a more pristine finish than the bullion grade coins – and proof, which has the highest-grade finish. Interestingly, the IRS makes a key exception for the inclusion of American Silver Eagles in a self-directed precious metals IRA: it allows proof grade Silver Eagles as well as bullion grade. The proof Silver Eagles are minted with a matte finish that produces a mirror-like look on the surface, and with frosted design elements. For nearly all other silver coins, the IRS only allows bullion grade coins to be part of an IRA portfolio. (There are a few other exceptions.)

The US Mint also produces special collectible versions of American Silver Eagles – such as colorized of antiqued finish coins – but those versions are not eligible for inclusion in an IRA. However, even the standard bullion grade Eagles have potential value as collectible coins, beyond their basic silver content value. Older mintings and relatively smaller annual production runs of American Silver Eagles typically command a significantly higher price, as compared to more recent mintings and relatively larger production runs.

US Silver Eagles are probably the most liquid of silver bullion coin investments, which helps to keep the premiums charged on them by dealers relatively low.

2 - Silver British Britannia Coin

The star silver coin product of the oldest existing mint in the world – the British Royal Mint – is the Silver British Britannia coin. Silver Britannias are legal tender in the United Kingdom. However, like US Silver Eagles, their nominal face value - two pounds sterling - is much less than the value of the one troy ounce of silver that make up a Silver Britannia.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about the Silver Britannia coin: investors in the US can often score one for a lower price than investors in the UK can get. That’s because, in order to attract US investors, the Royal Mint offers discounted wholesale prices to US coin dealers, which are then usually passed on to retail buyers. For this reason, a British Silver Britannia coin can often be purchased at a lower premium than other one-ounce silver bullion coins.

Silver Britannia

The Royal Mint is picky about approving distributors of its products, so Silver Britannias aren’t quite as widely available as American Silver Eagles. However, they can still be easily found at a number of the most well-known online gold and silver bullion dealers in the US.

One very important note about this silver bullion coin is that not all mintings of it are eligible for inclusion in a precious metals IRA. The reason for this is that from 1997 through 2012, Silver Britannias were minted at only 95.8% pure silver – which falls below the IRS requirement of 99.9% purity. Therefore, only Silver Britannia’s minted in 2013 or later, which are 99.9% pure silver, can be part of a Silver IRA portfolio.

Additional sizes and face value denominations of the Silver British Britannia are produced by the UK Mint, but the standard one-ounce version of the coin is, by far, the most popular.

The reverse side of a Silver Britannia coin features a Philip Nathan design of the image of Britannia, England’s mythical guardian, who is, predictably enough, gazing toward the ocean. The obverse side of the coin, for most of its mintings, was engraved with a variety of portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. Since she has passed on, the more recent versions carry an image of the new King, King Charles III.

3 - Silver Australian Kangaroo Coin

If you can’t get enough of silver bullion coins adorned with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, then just slide on over to the Silver Australian Kangaroo coin. I mean, come on – Queen Elizabeth AND cute little kangaroos? - The only way this coin could get any prettier would be if it was somehow three-sided, with the third side featuring the Augustus Saint-Gauden’s design that’s on US Gold Eagles.

The Silver Australian Kangaroo coin was first minted by the renowned Perth Mint in Australia in 2010. Like the other silver coins on our list thus far, it consists of one troy ounce of pure silver. Since 2015, the coins have been minted at the highest silver purity – 99.99%. Previous mintings were made of 99.9% pure silver. The mint produces both frosted uncirculated and proof versions of the Kangaroo series. These coins have legal tender status in Australia, with a face value of one Australian dollar.

Australian Kangaroo

The designs featured on the Australian Silver Kangaroo are a favorite of investors and collectors because the Kangaroo coin features a newly-designed kangaroo image with every new annual minting. Thus, every new yearly minting of the coin is a limited edition. For this reason, silver coin collectors often try to pick up every coin in the series.

Another factor that makes the Silver Australian Kangaroo a popular coin is simply the sterling reputation of the Perth Mint. This official mint of Australia has a well-established reputation for producing some of the highest quality gold and silver bullion products in the world. Many investors regularly purchase basic gold or silver bullion bars from the Perth Mint. One of its products is reputed to be the world’s largest gold bullion coin – a coin made of 1012 kilograms of pure gold.

Until recently, the obverse side of Silver Kangaroo coins featured a portrait design of Queen Elizabeth II. However, like the Silver British Britannia coin, since the Queen’s demise, the most recent mintings of the coin feature an image of the new monarch, King Charles III. The coin’s reverse side is where the latest version of a hopping kangaroo image appears.

If you really like cute Australian animals, you can alternatively opt to pick up an Australian Silver Koala Bear coin. These one-ounce, .9999 fine silver coins are also Silver IRA-eligible.

4 - Silver Chinese Panda Coin

In keeping with the theme of coins that feature images of cute animals is the Silver Chinese Panda coin, a product of the Central Mint of China. Panda coins are among the most highly sought after bullion coins by investors and collectors, known for being of exceptional quality.

The Silver Panda coins, all minted in 99.9% pure silver, come in a variety of sizes. The Chinese mint changed the size of the standard coin from one troy ounce to 30 grams (which is about one gram less than one ounce) a few years ago. Well, you know the Chinese – they just have to be different.

china panda silver

The mint often intentionally only produces a limited mintage of the Silver Panda coins each year. These limited mintings enhance the coin’s potential investment and collectible value. The mint also seeks to increase the value of Silver Pandas by frequently packaging them in individual protective capsules.

Add to limited minting production runs each year the fact that the panda design on the reverse side of the coin changes every year, and you have an investment coin that is also inherently a collectible coin. The panda is considered a symbol of peace and good fortune. The front side of each Silver Chinese Panda coin is typically an image of the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests, which is located in the Temple of Heaven, in Beijing.

If you’re buying a Silver Panda, you should try to ascertain which particular mint - the Shenzhen-Guobao Mint or the Shenyang Mint – produced the coin. That’s because there are often noticeable design differences between the coins that each mint issues. Both mints certify the Panda coins that they produce as being Gem Brilliant Uncirculated quality.

Silver Chinese Panda coins are up-to-date tech savvy as well. The Chinese mints have added security measures such as micro-engraved anti-counterfeiting elements to prevent counterfeiting and to help ensure the authenticity of each coin.

5 - Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coin

Believe it or not, images of Queen Elizabeth II adorn not just one – not just two - but THREE of the coins on our list. In addition to appearing on the Silver Britannia and Australian Kangaroo coins, she’s also featured on the obverse side of the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin. (Although, as with the other two coins – well, three, actually, if you count the Australian Silver Koala Bear coin, too - since her demise and his ascension to the throne, Charles III is pictured on the most recently minted coins.) You’ve got to admire the loyalty of the British Commonwealth of Nations to the British royal family.

maple leaf silver

The Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin is a product of the Royal Canadian Mint. It is a one troy ounce coin, minted in the highest purity of silver - 99.99% pure.

Now, personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Silver Maple Leaf. I mean, let’s review the other coin design images that we’ve got here – 

  • Walking Lady Liberty
  • Britannia
  • A kangaroo
  • A panda bear

…but a maple leaf?? I don’t know, but, somehow, that just seems – to me, anyway – to fall a bit short in the art department. Nonetheless, I’ve included it on this list because it is, undeniably, one of the most popular bullion coins with silver investors.

One reason for its popularity stems from the fact that it can often be purchased for a lower premium than any of the other coins on our list, including American Silver Eagles.

The Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin was first minted in 1988, two years after the debut of the American Silver Eagle. Up until the Queen’s death, it featured front side portraits of the Queen designed by a succession of artists, including Arnold Machin and Susanna Blunt. The maple leaf image that appears on the back side of the coin was produced by an unknown engraver at the Canadian Royal Mint. That image has remained unchanged since its original 1988 incarnation.

In addition to the standard one-ounce Silver Maple Leaf, the Canadian mint also produces fractional sizes of the coin - ½ ounce, ¼ ounce, and 1/10 ounce.

Silver Maple Leafs are legal tender in Canada, with a nominal value of $5 Canadian. There are bullion, uncirculated, and proof versions of the coin produced by the mint, but only the bullion version is acceptable for investment in a precious metals IRA.

6 (Bonus)  - Silver 1/10oz St. Helena Spade Guinea Shield Coin (BU)  

I know I said we had 5 silver coins but we could not leave St. Helena Spade Guinea off of the list. This coin is an excellent choice for investors who are looking for portability and divisibility.

silbver spade guinea coin


It’s a striking piece that contains 1/10 Troy oz of .999 pure silver and arrives in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The coin's obverse showcases a timeless portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse features the intricate Spade Guinea Shield, highlighting the Royal Arms of King George III. This combination of historical significance and modern craftsmanship makes it an exceptional addition to any investment portfolio.

It’s available in plastic flips, tubes of 50, or even boxes of 5,000 coins, offering flexibility depending on your investment needs.

Five Silver Coins for Your Precious Metals IRA – Conclusion

Adding some silver coins to your Gold IRA is an easy way to diversify your precious metals investments. It also might turn out to be a very profitable move. Forecasts for future silver prices from precious metals market analysts range anywhere from around the current price level of $30 per ounce to as high as $300 per ounce or more. $300 per ounce silver would be a 10x increase over current silver prices – or a return on investment of 1,000%. Just sayin’.

The five silver coins that made this list are all widely recognized and very popular with investors (which also makes them very liquid). And, hey, they’re all really cute, too.

  1. American Silver Eagle
  2. Silver British Britannia
  3. Silver Australian Kangaroo
  4. Chinese Silver Panda
  5. Silver Canadian Maple Leaf
  6. Silver St. Helena Spade Guinea 

Final thought: While they may not be a particularly big deal right now, 20 or 30 years down the road – when she’s more of a distant past figure – those coins minted with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II may have acquired some additional collectible value.

Happy Silver IRA investing! Best wishes!

  • J.B. Maverick


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