Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Price of Gold?
  • Like any market, the prices of gold and other precious metals vary throughout the day. You can always check our website for current market prices.
  • There is a difference between the contract (or spot) price and the price of a physical product. All physical products, whether coins, bars, or even jewelry have an additional premium based on manufacturing costs, shipping, supply and demand, and quality.
What does ICA offer beyond other online stores?

ICA has been in the precious metals business since 1972, continuously operating longer than any other firm. Investing in gold requires knowledgeable advisors who have developed the best approach. We work directly with you to build a portfolio reflecting your individual goals

How does ICA get paid? What is your fee?
  • ICA charges a modest fee above the price for which products can be acquired on the wholesale exchange. As a broker/dealer, we work within our own inventory as well as directly through multiple wholesale suppliers, mints, and manufacturers to ensure the lowest possible price for the clients.
  • The actual percentage ICA charges can vary based on product, as some products do have additional costs to acquire, such as in the case of importing from other countries. Your ICA advisor will walk you through commissions and spreads, fully disclosing the ICA brokerage fees.
What forms of payment does ICA accept?

We accept either personal checks or wire transfers. We do not accept cash or cash equivalents like money orders, credit cards, or bitcoin as they require additional reporting by the dealer.

How long does it take to receive my product?

Depending on the type of payment, it could be a few days to a few weeks.  All personal check payments require a nine day holding period until product is shipped. Funds sent by wire transfer allow for a quick shipment, usually within a week of receipt of the wire.

How is my product shipped to me?

ICA uses all major shipping carriers, and packages always require a signature at time of delivery. In many cases the client can request a specific carrier, including US Postal Service, UPS or FedEx. We can also deliver to post office boxes via the US Postal Service. Insurance is carried by the shipper until you have signed for your package.

How easy is the liquidation process?

ICA guarantees to buy back anything our clients purchased through us, at the current market value. Should you decide to liquidate through us, we do need to have received the product prior to confirming the bid price. Your ICA advisor will walk you through the best, and safest means of shipping to us. Once received, we send payment 14 days after locking in the price.

Where is it stored?

ICA strongly encourages our clients to use a 3rd party storage facility rather than the dealer from which you purchased the product. There are a few options we recommend for either domestic storage here in the US, or international storage in locations like Canada, Switzerland, and Singapore. Talk to your ICA advisor today about which storage option may be right for you.

Can physical metals be held in IRA’s?

Yes, there are a number of trustees that allow physical precious metals like coins and bars within an IRA.  Your ICA advisor can help you determine the right trustee for you. ICA has been the industry leader in this regard since the IRS allowed for the IRA option in 1986.

Can I store the IRA precious metals at home?

No. The IRS requires precious metals in an IRA to be held within a trust account, stored at an approved facility.

The government confiscated gold in the 1930’s, can they do it again?

Yes. However, during the previous confiscation, there were exemptions that allowed gold owners to continue to possess, buy, sell or trade gold freely. Your ICA advisor can further explain the history of gold confiscation around the world, and the products offering the best protection should that happen again.

Can the government confiscate the gold in my IRA?

There is no reason to believe another confiscation of gold by the US Government would result in the IRA assets being treated any differently than the privately held assets.

Does “dealer non-reportable” mean I don’t have to report it on my taxes?

No. It means the dealer is not required to take your social security number at time of liquidation and issue a 1099. If you have sold at a profit, you are required to report it on your taxes.

What do we buy for ourselves and our families?

We believe in building a metals position based on purpose, not product. Some may value long-term preservation, while others focus on investment strategy. Everyone directs varying portions of their metals position to accomplish each of the important goals he or she has for the portfolio. Although it is unlikely any of our employees would have identical portfolios, there are a number of factors we all agree on.

  • Products manufactured by government mints or COMEX approved manufacturers take precedence over lesser-quality options.
  • Companies selling common products as collectibles at unsubstantiated premiums should be frowned upon.
  • Education, a balanced strategy, and a flexible mix of products offer a superior advantage in the long run.
Where do I keep my gold at home?

Location is entirely up to you. Many clients have acquired a safe for security. We discourage burying your gold as this often results in damage or loss. A safe deposit box at a bank may be a better option in that scenario.

Why is it called ICA?

ICA stands for International Collectors Associates and has been our name since Don McAlvany founded our company in 1972. Our name originated at a time when gold bullion was not legal to be personally owned or traded in the United States; only collectible and religious forms of gold coins were allowed.

What type of precious metals can I add to my IRA?


American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian and Austrian gold coins, COMEX/NYMEX approved bars and rounds, and American Eagle Gold Proof Coins. (We often recommend Proofs as a way to hold a collectible type of coin in an IRA).


American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Mexican Libertads, COMEX approved bars and rounds.


American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Isle of Man Noble coins, NYMEX approved bars and rounds.


Bars and rounds.

Can I take custody of my IRA assets?

All IRA assets MUST remain within the custody of a Trustee of the IRA. You may take a distribution of your assets in your IRA, which is a taxable event reported to the IRS.

What is a self-directed IRA?

A self-directed IRA is exactly like any other IRA, with one major difference. YOU get to choose where your IRA funds will be invested, rather than just accepting whatever the IRA Trustee or Custodian offers.


How do I move my existing IRA to a new custodian so I can fund it with precious metals?

Money in an existing IRA can be moved to the new custodian by either transfer or rollover. A transfer does not require IRS reporting, and there are no restrictions on how often you can transfer funds.


Can I contribute bullion or coins I already own into a self-directed IRA?

No. All new contributions must be made in cash, but transfers and rollovers are allowed.

What annual fees are associated with a precious metals IRA?

There are two annual fees; a custodial fee and a metals storage fee. Call your ICA Advisor for the current fee structure.

When I qualify for a distribution, may I receive the coins instead of a check?

Yes, distributions “in-kind” are permitted; however, you will have to pay shipping in the case of delivery as well as ordinary income tax for the year in which they were received.

How safe are my physical precious metals when stored in an IRA?

The trustees we partner with are proven, trusted, and COMEX approved. The metals are insured and remain locked in the safest possible environment, and every one of your ounces is allocated.

Can I sell my precious metals in the future and transfer or rollover the proceeds into another type of IRA?

Yes. At some point in the future, you may choose to take profits on your precious metals holdings and transfer them into stocks, bonds, CDs or any other type of investment that is allowed in IRAs.



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