Gold $2,415.52 0.77%
Silver $31.70 1.45%
Platinum $1,053.79 3.77%
Palladium $1,025.27 -0.47%

Buy Gold Online in California

The California Gold Rush of 1848 sparked a mass migration toward to West in the hopes of striking it rich. And to this day, Golden State residents are still investing in gold as a long-term growth opportunity. However, before purchasing gold and other precious metals, make sure you’re familiar with federal and state laws. Notably, the IRS imposes capital gains tax on gold purchases, and California has its own statewide sales tax.


If you’re ready to start buying gold online, visit a precious metal dealer’s website to browse their products. From the dealer’s list of offerings, you can choose gold, silver, and other precious metal coins and bars to invest in. However, in some instances, you may need to contact a representative to open an account and choose which precious metals you’d like to purchase.

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California IRS Regulations

When selling physical gold and other precious metals, you will be subject to federal capital gains tax by the IRS. This is because the IRS considers precious metal investments to be capital assets that are classified as collectibles. As such, capital gains tax is owed if the precious metals are sold after being held for at least one year.

The capital gains tax is equal to your marginal tax rate, reaching a maximum of 28%. The capital gains tax rates are 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your income. The following is a breakdown of the capital gains tax rates for 2023:

Filing Status0%15%20%
SingleUp to $44,625$44,626 to $492,300Over $492,301
Head of householdUp to $59,750$59,751 to $523,050Over $523,051
Married filing jointlyUp to $89,250$89,251 to $553,850Over $553,851
Married filing separatelyUp to $44,625$44.626 to $276,900Over $276,901

Keep in mind that you will not be required to pay capital gains tax until the sale of your precious metals has been finalized.

IRS-Approved Precious Metals

When looking to open a precious metals IRA, you must be careful about which types of assets you invest in. This is because the IRS has strict regulations regarding the types of precious metals that are allowable in an IRA:

The purity standards are as follows: 99.5% for gold, 99.9% for silver, and 99.95% for platinum and palladium.
Bars, rounds, and coins must be produced by an accredited or certified refiner, manufacturer, or assayer. The producer must be accredited or certified by NYMEX, COMEX, NYSE/Liffe, LME, LBMA, LPPM, TOCOM, ISO 9000, or a national government mint. Additionally, the producer must meet minimum fineness requirements.
Proof coins must be encapsulated in complete, original mint packaging. They must also be in excellent condition and include a certificate of authenticity.
Small bullion bars must be manufactured to exact weight specifications.
Non-proof bullion coins must be in brilliant, uncirculated condition and free from all damage.

IRS-Approved Gold Products Include:

American Eagle bullion or proof coins
Australian Kangaroo or Nugget bullion coins
Australian Lunar Series coins
Austrian Philharmonic bullion coins
British Britannia (2013 or newer)
Canadian Maple Leaf coins
Chinese Panda coins
Credit Suisse – PAMP Suisse bars
U.S. Buffalo bullion coins

IRS-Approved Silver Products Include:

American Eagle bullion or proof coins
America the Beautiful coins
Australian Kookaburra coins
Austrian Vienna Philharmonic coins
British Britannia (2013 or newer)
Canadian Maple Leaf coins
Chinese Panda coins
Mexican Libertad bullion coins

IRS-Approved Platinum Products Include:

American Eagle bullion or proof coins
Australian Koala bullion coins
Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins
Isle of Man Noble bullion coins
The only IRS-approved palladium product is the Canadian Maple Leaf coin.

IRS Forms

When you sell gold or other precious metals, you are required to report the profits to the IRS. To report the income, sellers must complete Schedule D of Form 1040 on their annual tax return.

However, depending on the type of metal that is sold, Form 1099-B might also be required by the IRS. Form 1099-B is required at the time of sale when you sell:

90% silver U.S. dimes, quarters, or half dollars at face value of $1,000
Twenty-five or more one-ounce gold Maple Leaf, Krugerrand, or Mexican Onza coins
One-kilogram or 1,000-troy-ounce gold and silver bars

California Taxes on Gold

In addition to the capital gains tax, California residents are also required to pay sales tax when purchasing gold and other precious metals. Even if the gold is purchased online, California sales tax will still be added to the total.
According to California law, no sales tax will be applied to monetized bullion, nonmonetized bullion, numismatic coins, accessory items, and processed items if the total for a single transaction is $1,500 or more. However, for single transactions that are less than $1,500, sales tax will be applied, which is currently 7.5%.
Monetized bullion
is classified as coins or other currency made of gold, silver, or other metals that are used as a form of exchange.
Nonmonetized bullion
is classified as gold or silver that has been smelted or refined and has a value dependent on its gold or silver content and not on its form.
Numismatic coins
are classified as coins whose external value is more than the base value of the precious metal content. The external value is often due to the coin’s rarity, condition, and age.
Accessory items
include holders, tubes, and coin flips. Finally, processed items are classified as precious metals that third parties process into items that are valued more than their precious metal content. Processed items typically include colorized coins.

Gold Prices

Several factors influence the cost of gold, including the mint, fineness, rarity, condition, size, dealer, and demand. Typically, the higher the gold content and the larger the size of the gold coin or bar, the more it will cost. Nevertheless, the cost of gold has steadily risen over the decades as it is seen as a relatively stable long-term investment.

Types of Gold Coins, Bars, and Bullion in California

Gold coins typically weigh one to two ounces; however, half-ounce and quarter-ounce coins may also be available at some dealers. Gold coins also come in varying qualities, with older minted coins containing 90% to 92% gold and newer coins containing 99.9% gold. Some dealers also sell alloyed gold coins, which contain 91.7% gold, with the remainder being made up of silver or copper.


There are four types of gold coins:

Bullion
Bullion coins primarily served as a form of currency. However, they are now collectible items and investments. These coins are typically purchased as a hedge against inflation and the stock market. The value of bullion coins is attributed to the rarity and aesthetic beauty of the item.
Proof
Proof coins are the highest quality gold investments and are often produced in limited quantities. These coins are produced by the U.S. mint and come with a certificate of authenticity.
Numismatic
Numismatic coins are collectible or rare coins that are typically older. These coins are valued less for their fineness or gold content and more for their historical and artistic significance.
Semi-numismatic
Semi-numismatic coins include the characteristics of both bullion and numismatic coins. Semi-numismatic coins are valued based on their rarity and artistry, as well as finesses and purity.

Gold Bar Sizes

Gold bars come in various sizes, ranging from a few grams to 10 ounces. Gold bars have a minimum purity standard of 99.5%. Each gold bar is stamped with its weight in gold, fineness, and serial number. These bars come in several styles, including:
Hand-poured, cast, and minted ingots
A blend of old and new techniques, offering an artisanal, rustic appeal.
Hand-poured bars
Uniquely shaped with slight imperfections, showcasing the traditional goldsmithing process.
Cast bars
Showcases modern precision with clean lines and a uniform matte finish, optimized for easy storage.
Minted bars
Highly refined, featuring high-gloss finish, sharp edges and tamper-evident packaging for added security.

Gold Buying Guide by State

Click on your state to learn more about investing in gold, silver, and other precious metals in your area.
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