Gold IRA Custodians

Gold IRA Custodians

A gold IRA custodian is a company that buys and holds physical gold, bars, coins, or other bullion as an investor's asset. They do not store any physical assets but keep them in their "vault" on behalf of the client.

It is important to note that there are two types of gold IRA custodians: those who will allow you to purchase your gold and those who require that they purchase the metal for you.

How Does a Gold IRA Custodian Work?

You will open an account with a gold IRA custodian and buy gold stored in their "vault." They may require that the funds be transferred to them via wire transfer or check, depending upon the terms of their contract and your agreement with them. Usually, they will not accept physical delivery of your funds but simply an authorization to purchase the metal on your behalf. Remember, you are not purchasing the bullion yourself. The custodian is. You own the bullion once purchased but do not buy it directly yourself. That is the job of the custodian.

The gold is usually stored in a secure facility owned by the custodian. In most cases, your bullion will remain in this facility until you decide to withdraw it. If you purchase large amounts of gold, the custodian keeps it on hand and waits for you to ask before releasing it back to them.

As with all investments, certain risks are associated with buying physical gold and storing it in a vault. In most cases, these risks are far less than those associated with putting your money in a bank or other investment vehicle where the government or competitor can easily seize your money.

Why Should You Use a Custodian?

Many gold IRA custodians offer the ability to purchase the bullion you own when you are ready to part with it and other metals. They provide all the security and peace of mind without the high cost and hassle of storing your gold at home or in a safe-deposit box.

The insurance policy covers your precious metals stored in their vault when you purchase gold with a custodian. They also offer storage insurance that protects your bullion against theft or damage.

In addition, many gold IRA custodians will store your precious metals at a lower cost than physical gold dealers, and some will even store your metal for free if you buy lots of it. In most cases, the cost of storing your metal is far less than what it would cost to keep it at home or in a safe deposit box.

The best gold IRA custodians will offer advice based on your specific goals, risk tolerance, the timeline for investing, and more. They will then use this information to choose an investment plan that provides the greatest possible return for your money while ensuring that you meet your own goals and expectations. A gold IRA custodian will price the metals in their custody at the price you paid. In other words, if you bought one ounce of gold for $400 back in 2013 and it was stored in a vault for one year, it would be worth about $410 today. They do not mark up the cost of your bullion – they price it exactly as it was stored when you purchased it from them.

There have been several incidents over the years in which individuals have lost their bullion when leaving it unattended in the care of custodians. While this is rare, it does happen, so you should always use a company that provides adequate security procedures to protect your precious metals while they are stored with them. There are several custodians that you can use for your gold IRA, and this article recommends the following Five Custodians:

Top 5: Best Gold IRA Custodians


#1. Goldco


GOLDCO is one of the leading gold IRA companies in the US, with over 10 years of experience. They offer a wide variety of gold, silver, and other precious metals at competitive prices, including American Eagles, Silver Eagles, Krugerrands, Maple Leafs, Austrian Philharmonics, and the Perth Mint Lunar Series. There are no commissions or fees for buying these items for your precious metals IRA account. They also have a large selection of 'one-ounce' bars, such as Scotia Bar and Valcambi Suisse Gold Bars. Their order minimum is just $500, which could be easily met by purchasing one or two 1oz bars. Unlike most other companies, GOLDCO does NOT charge a "storage" fee or other hidden fees. GOLDCO also offers an excellent Track Your Purchase service where you can easily track the progress of your investments with your online account.

The company offers IRA Financial Group clients a special reward program whereby they earn 1% on all purchases. However, this is only available to those who open an account with them through IRA Financial Group. As long as you maintain a minimum balance of $250,000 in your GOLDCO account each year, you will receive this special 1% reward. This is in addition to the competitive prices and low storage fees that they already offer. You can use this unique reward to buy gold, silver, or other precious metals for your gold IRA. You can save a lot of money by using GOLDCO as your precious metals IRA company.


  • Low fees: Unlike many precious metals dealers, GOLDCO charges no commission to buy gold and silver for your IRA. They also have no storage fee for any of the metals they store for you.
  • Track your purchases: GOLDCO offers an excellent tracking service where you can easily check on the progress of your investment and see how much money it is earning.
  • Free shipping: GOLDCO offers free shipping on all orders over $500. This is a great incentive over other companies that may not offer free shipping to you, although they are taking advantage of being able to ship through the US Postal Service, which does not charge additional fees as UPS does.
  • Education materials: GOLDCO offers a monthly newsletter and other educational materials to help you manage your gold account and store your metals at a low cost.
  • Investment experience: Golco has experts in precious metals who can help you decide which metals to invest in and how much each metal to buy.
  • Tax benefits: GOLDCO provides advice to help you keep your precious metals IRA completely tax-free.


  • Multiple accounts required: Because GOLDCO requires you to open a separate account for each metal you want to store, this is more expensive than other companies. However, if you are looking for an IRA provider that offers low fees and a secure storage solution, you can save money on setting up a gold IRA and order multiple metals at one time.
Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals has been around since 2012 and provides precious metals to gold and silver IRAs. They offer various metals, including American Eagles, Gold American Eagles, silver American Eagles, Austrian Philharmonics, British Sovereigns, Canadian Maple Leafs, and Krugerrands.

They do not have any hidden fees or monthly storage fees. You purchase your precious metals with them directly from the United States Mint or other dealers without paying any commission to Augusta Precious Metals. After you purchase your precious metals from them, they will store them in their vault at their secure facility for you at no additional cost. When you tell them what you want to buy and where they will provide you with the storage cost for each item based on a daily price for that type of metal.

Augusta Precious Metals has added a 1% reward to all purchases made through the IRA Financial Group, which is their exclusive partner. This is enough to make their fees competitive compared to other gold IRA companies. The company also offers a competitive maintenance fee of just $20 per year on each bar stored in your account. They offer a complete emergency service protection plan for your bullion, which includes insurance for up to $2.5M per occurrence, storage, and chain-of-title insurance.

They offer a comprehensive, easy-to-understand, step-by-step guide to buying gold and silver with either an IRA or Individual Retirement Account. They will not ask you to call them with any questions. The company also has many years of experience in the precious metals industry, which means they can help you decide how much gold and silver to buy and how they should be stored and insured.


  • Secure storage: Augusta Precious Metals is a very secure precious metals firm. Their facilities are located in high-security areas and are suitable for storing your bullion.
  • Storage prices are low: Their over-the-counter purchase prices are very low, and they have no storage fees.
  • Identity protection: The company ensures that your contact information is never shared with anyone else.
  • Easy set-up: The company has an easy-to-understand guide on how to set up a gold IRA account and purchase precious metals for your account.
  • Customer management: Augusta Precious Metals offers a complete customer management feature for all their products, including individual customers and not just your Gold or Silver IRA. They also have a high level of customer service available by phone or email, and you can easily access your account information from almost any device.
  • Low annual fees: Augusta Precious Metals has very low annual fees, and they will store your precious metals while charging you no additional storage fee.


  • Price spread is large: Because their prices are usually much lower than most other companies, Augusta Precious Metals will charge you an exceptionally high price so that they make a profit on the commodities that you purchase. This means that you may have to pay several hundred dollars more for the same amount of bullion than if you were to use another company.
American Hartford Gold

American Hartford uses the federal government's gold market to buy, sell and store gold, silver, platinum, and palladium for you in your precious metals IRA. They will store any precious metal that you want to purchase.

They do not charge a commission and are one of the few companies that will store your metals free of charge. This means that their fees are very low compared to other companies. They also have excellent customer service where you can call them anytime with any questions about your precious metals account or if you have any problems making a purchase.

American Hartford has been around since 2015, so they are a very experienced company with a wide range of services. They will help you decide how much precious metals to buy by using the current market prices to help determine the most cost-effective way to purchase the amount you want.

The company is registered with FINRA, and they are SEC-Registered Investment Advisers. This means they undergo extensive background checks and must comply with all federal regulations when dealing with your precious metals IRA.


  • Low storage fees: American Hartford charges no storage fee on their products. They charge you a commission of just $75 per month and make money on the products you buy.
  • No introduction fee: They do not charge an introduction fee, so you do not have to pay any other hidden fees to your old IRA account.
  • Personal service: You can call them with any questions that you may have about your precious metals IRA, and they will be there for you every step of the way.
  • Online account management: You are given direct access to your precious metals account while, at the same time, they maintain a secure encrypted connection with all of their vendors. You can easily access your account from any device, and they will not share your information with anyone else.
  • Low commission: They charge a low commission of only $75 per month, which is one of the lowest in the industry.
  • Tax advantages: Your income is deferred until you exit your precious metals IRA, which means you receive tax advantages when purchasing gold, silver, or other metal bullion for your IRA.
  • Up to $10M in insurance protection: American Hartford offers up to $10M in insurance protection for the value of each bar that is stored in their vaults. This can cover theft, fire, and even natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.


  • High price spreads: Compared to other companies, American Hartford will charge you a much higher price for the same amount of bullion. They may even charge you several hundred dollars more than other companies for the same amount.
Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group is one of the most popular companies that offer precious metals IRAs. Unlike some other companies, they will not charge a commission on your purchases or if you decide to purchase other products from them later. They also have no introduction fee, so you can start your precious metals IRA without paying anything extra.

Birch Gold Group has a very secure facility in Burbank, California, near the Federal Reserve Bank and the IRS. The Secret Service may inspect their facilities if they choose to do so. They also maintain very high standards of physical security and will store your bullion in a special vault completely isolated from the rest of their facility.

Birch Gold Group allows you to buy precious metals online or at over 100,000 retail locations nationwide. They also sell gold and silver bullion coins.

They have an excellent reputation in the precious metals industry and are known for their low prices. They offer various services, including buying and selling precious metals, helping you decide where best to store your precious metals, setting up the right type of account for your specific needs, and providing a wide range of proprietary tools to help make you more efficient in your purchasing.

In addition to its lower prices, Birch Gold Group is known for its excellent customer service. The company has representatives available by phone or email every day at all hours of the day to talk with customers as needed.

Birch Gold Group is one of our top choices because they are a registered investment advisor and have been in business since 2003. This means that they have been in the industry for a very long time and earned a strong reputation as one of the most trusted precious metals vendors.


  • Wide selection of products: They offer the widest variety and biggest selection of precious metals on the market. You will find gold, silver, platinum, and palladium at Birch Gold Group.
  • No minimum purchase: If you want to buy just a couple of ounces, then as long as you have funds in your account, you can buy them.
  • Excellent customer service: Birch Gold Group has a great reputation for its excellent customer service. They have representatives available by phone or email daily and even on the weekends.
  • Low commissions: They offer some of the lowest commissions in the industry when you purchase gold, silver, or other precious metals.
  • Easy access to your account: You are given direct access to your precious metals account while at the same time they maintain a secure encrypted connection with all of their vendors. You can easily access your account from any device, and they will not share your information with anyone else.
  • Competitive prices: They are one of the cheapest companies on the market that also offers high-quality products.


  • No local access to your precious metals: You can not withdraw your gold, silver, and other precious metals if you decide to close your account or if you have any problems. You must have a verified account before withdrawing anything from Birch Gold Group.
Noble Gold

Noble Gold is one of the youngest custodians, founded in 2017. Noble Gold offers a Precious Metals IRA and a Tax-Free Retirement Account. This company calculates your fee based on the price of gold and silver rather than the quantity of your purchase, so you pay less for larger and smaller purchases. Unlike other precious metals custodians, Noble Gold has no annual or transfer fees when you buy precious metals for your IRA. The company doesn't charge a set-up fee; after opening your account, you pay a storage fee of between $80 and $150 per year.

Noble Gold's safety and security features are some of the best in the industry, offering insurance and theft protection. Their gold is insured by Standard Insurance Company, Assuring asset protection above $50 million per customer holding. They also offer a wide range of precious metals to meet all needs and investment goals, including coins and bars for your IRA. Noble Gold's exceptional customer service is one of the company's best features. They work with you to determine the best way for you or your IRA to access and use your bullion.

Noble Gold offers a wide range of products, including gold and silver bullion coins and bars. They offer a variety of third-party certified sellers. All of them have been vetted through the ANX Internet Group Index™, which is recognized as a leading third-party certification program in the precious metals industry. Noble Gold's prices are among the lowest, and the company aims to keep costs low. They are known for fast shipping and impeccable service. You can use any form of payment to make purchases, and you will be given full access to your account once it is set up. Unlike other companies, they don't charge a commission, so they are a good bet if you want to buy large quantities of gold or silver bullion at once.

Noble Gold is one of our top choices because they have very low prices and make it easy by giving you direct access to your account online or via phone. They also offer a wide variety of products and services, making them great for anyone looking to buy gold or silver bullion.


  • Low prices: Prices are the best of any precious metals company, and they offer very low prices on all of their products that you can buy.
  • Wide selection of products: They offer the widest selection of precious metals on the market, from gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars to coins and even IRA packages. You will find a product to meet every need or investment goal.
  • No minimum purchase: You can buy as little or as much gold or silver as you need. You will not have to buy in bulk or purchase a full set of everything.
  • Excellent customer service: Noble Gold has a great reputation for exceptional customer service. They have representatives available by phone or email every day at all hours of the day to answer your questions.
  • Low IRA fees: The fees they charge are among the lowest we found in the industry, and they offer no set-up fee either.
  • No annual or transfer fees: You don't have to pay any set-up fees, and there is no annual storage fee when you buy gold and silver in your IRA account with Noble Gold.
  • Easy access to your account: You are given direct access to your precious metals account while at the same time they maintain a secure encrypted connection with all of their vendors. You can easily access your account from any device, and they will not share your information with anyone else.
  • Competitive prices: They are one of the cheapest companies on the market that also offers high-quality products.


  • No local access to your precious metals: You can not withdraw your gold, silver, and other precious metals if you decide to close your account or have any problems. You must have a verified account before withdrawing anything from Noble Gold.

Key Considerations

Choosing a custodian is a complex process; you should consider many factors before you do. It is best to examine your needs, goals, and risk tolerance. Are you going to use the gold as a hedge against inflation or for short-term savings, or do you want to use it as retirement income? If so, when will you need the funds? Wherever possible, diversify your investment across multiple metals, including gold and silver. We have come up with the above recommendations after analyzing the following factors:

  • Fees: This is a very important factor since it impacts the value of your investment. The mentioned companies charge lower or more reasonable fees.
  • Insurance: This is important to make sure that your assets are covered in case of a disaster or theft. The recommended companies will ensure you are protected in case of anything.
  • Location and storage: These companies are in safe and secure locations. Gold is generally stored in a central location, while silver is stored at the point of purchase.
  • Customer service: These are top companies; therefore, their customer service is commendable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do custodians value my metals?

Custodians are experts in terms of precious metals and are certified to give you the most accurate information possible. They will check your current level of wealth and your plan for buying bullion and give you a personalized quote about how much bullion you would need to buy.

Why does my account value differ from the actual buyback?

Your account value is calculated daily based on the metal's spot price. Your buyback price will differ from this value for 2 reasons:

— You will receive a small premium on your purchase, typically around 5% or less.

— The spot price of metal tends to change daily, so your actual buyback rate may be slightly higher or lower than your account value, depending on when you decide to take possession of your metals.

How do I start buying precious metals?

You should contact a precious metals custodian, who will help you pick the right product for you based on your investment goal and current level of wealth.

How do I sell the gold in my IRA?

Your custodian will be able to give you instructions on how to take possession of your precious metals, and they will also help you to sell some or all of your gold, silver, or platinum if you wish.

What if I already have a self-directed IRA?

You may buy precious metals in your existing IRA, but you must check with your custodian first to ensure they allow this. If they do, you will fill out a beneficiary designation form to transfer the precious metals to your name.