Published: August 1, 2023

Disclaimer: The owners of this website may be paid by one or more of the companies reviewed on this site. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold Group, may not be neutral or independent.

Experienced investors have long advocated for the inclusion of precious metals in a well-rounded portfolio for the sake of diversification. Following legislation passed in 1997, it has become permissible to possess precious metals in a US retirement account. However, to streamline the process and handle the administrative work, numerous gold dealerships offer specialized retirement account services.

If you are exploring options for gold IRA specialists, you're likely familiar with Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold Group. They stand out amongst their competitors due to their extensive precious metals stocks and their excellent customer service.

Yet, the question remains: Which of these two is superior to work with? Who clinches the top spot as the premier precious metals company?

Let's jump right in!

1. About Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals stands as one of the most distinguished gold and precious metal IRA brokers across the United States.

Located in Los Angeles, the company is renowned for its outstanding customer service and the high caliber of its sales consultants.

According to Datanyze, Augusta Precious Metals employs 97 individuals and annually generates $18.7 million in revenue, predominantly from gold and silver bullion sales.

Their primary market consists of gold and silver IRAs, though they also cater to individual account holders.

Augusta Precious Metals offers physical gold and silver bullion coins, like the Gold American Eagle. Moreover, for collectors, they provide premium gold and silver bullion products, encompassing proofs and brilliant uncirculated coins.

As a precious metals IRA provider and a precious metals company, Augusta takes pride in delivering a 'high-touch' service.

'High-touch' service refers to their emphasis on their sales and customer service teams spending ample time with clients and prospective investors. They focus on enlightening them about precious metals IRA investing and the advantages of possessing physical gold and silver bullion.

Remarkably, as of this writing, Augusta Precious Metals is the only major gold IRA company in the United States that hasn't received a single complaint from the Better Business Bureau.

Augusta is also known for charging no hidden fees or commissions, making it a sound choice for investors seeking to own physical silver and gold. Whether within a retirement account or as their own investment, Augusta offers these at reasonable and competitive prices.

They are also a superior option for investors seeking additional educational resources or guidance regarding gold and silver investing and the gold IRA rollover process.

2. About Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold

Established in 2003, Birch Gold Group stands as one of the more enduring gold IRA enterprises in the industry. They operate out of California, bolstered by a team of finance professionals from diverse sectors including Wall Street, precious metals, and investment management.

The principal business of Birch Gold Group involves the sale of precious metals and facilitating the setup of self-directed IRAs for clients. Their focus remains predominantly on their range of metal products, with no offerings of other alternative assets for retirement accounts.

Birch Gold Group holds accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, impressively scoring an A+ rating with the organization. On the BBB's page, they enjoy an average customer rating of 4.69 out of 5 stars. Moreover, they secure 4.8 stars on Consumer Affairs based on over 110 reviews, and a similar score on Trustpilot, backed by more than 140 reviews.

3. Company Products

The range of products offered by a company significantly influences your investment decisions. If your goal is to invest in bullion, it's crucial to ensure that the products are genuine and can be readily converted into cash. Investing for a retirement account will necessitate stricter compliance with IRS regulations.

Given that both Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold Group concentrate on IRAs, their specialists possess the requisite knowledge to guide you about eligible products. They can provide insights into the market performance of various options. Should you have any queries during the transaction process, the representative from your chosen company can address them.

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Metals Coins

When you invest with Augusta Precious Metals, you will receive a free guide that will explain in detail how to hedge during these unpredictable econonomic times.

The IRS permits a variety of assets in holdings, including physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion bars, as well as premium coins that comply with specific purity and origin criteria.

In particular, gold is required to have a minimum fineness of .995 (with an exception for Gold American Eagle coins), silver must possess a purity of .999%, while both platinum and palladium need to meet a minimum fineness of .9995.

The physical metals must be in bullion form (excluding numismatics), must come from a refiner or assayer certified by NYMEX or COMEX, or be produced by a national mint.

By incorporating physical bullion within a self-directed IRA account, you can enjoy the same advantages as with any other conventional IRA.

Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group Coins

Birch Gold Group offers a wide selection of investment-grade bullion for purchase, the details of which are available on their website.

Their offerings include diverse options such as $20 gold coins from the US Mint, gold bars, and gold rounds sourced from different refineries across the US. For investors not focusing on IRAs, they provide several silver rounds and silver dollars that can be purchased directly with cash.

The inventory available at Birch Gold Group fluctuates daily. However, you can browse their website directly to ensure the availability of your desired items.

4. IRA Rollover Services

While both companies predominantly concentrate on IRA services, they also accommodate direct cash purchases. Numerous individuals might not possess a sizable amount of savings that can be immediately invested in gold, yet they hold a substantial retirement account that requires diversification.

Birch Gold Group and Augusta Precious Metals are equipped to assist you in establishing a new IRA and procuring precious metals using these funds.

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta holds a competitive stance within the niche precious metals industry, with their customer service being exceptional. They provide a thoroughly streamlined approach for setting up your account. During the entire account setup and rollover process, you'll engage with the same representative. They undertake all the necessary paperwork and other meticulous tasks for you, as well as handling all coordination with your custodian independently.

This factor truly differentiates Augusta, as there are few companies that will comprehensively coordinate with your custodian on your behalf. With most other firms, you'll receive the custodial application and then be connected with the custodian. This often involves interaction with numerous different individuals and tracking paperwork to multiple destinations, which can be quite inconvenient.

To discover what Augusta Precious Metals can do for you, you can discuss your queries and concerns with them. Each customer is managed individually, and you will converse with your specialist about your available options.

Birch Gold Group

gold ira benefits

Upon opening an IRA with Birch Gold Group, they facilitate the connection with your custodian. Their specialists will guide you through the necessary paperwork and handle the processing of your various applications. Once the account is established, they can assist in the rollover of funds from your existing retirement account.

You can seamlessly transfer funds from one retirement account to a self-directed IRA without attracting penalties, provided you complete the requisite paperwork correctly.

5. Minimums And Custodial Fees

Both enterprises uphold a policy of transparent pricing and refrain from imposing additional charges such as concealed markups on gold transactions.

To avail of their IRA services, both Birch Gold Group and Augusta Precious Metals suggest a minimum investment amount.

Augusta Precious Metals

Joe Montana Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals operates by purchasing gold and silver coins at wholesale prices and selling them at retail rates.

Their operational profits entirely hinge on the spread between the wholesale and retail prices.

There are no annual or hidden charges imposed at the company level.

Nonetheless, when using Augusta Precious Metals to establish an IRA account, you'll encounter nominal fees from the retirement account custodian (a separate entity) and from the gold storage or depository company chosen to safeguard your physical gold and silver coins and bullion.

Custodial and storage fees If you create your Gold IRA with Augusta Precious Metals and opt for Equity Trust as your IRA account custodian, a one-time setup fee of $50 is typically applicable.

In addition to this, you will be charged an annual fee of $80 by the custodian and an annual storage fee of $100 by the depository company tasked with storing and securing your physical gold.

If you procure gold and silver coins under your own name instead of a retirement account's name, you won't have to pay any storage or custodial charges.

Your expenses are limited to the cost of the bullion itself.

To open a new account, a minimum purchase of $50,000 is required.

This amount can be a combination of IRA purchases, cash purchases, or both.

Birch Gold Group

Business man sitting at table

Birch Gold Group suggests an initial investment of $10,000, making their services accessible even to those who might have a smaller retirement account.

Additionally, Birch Gold Group conducts promotional events and advertising initiatives targeted at new clients. As a new customer, you might be eligible to receive bonus metals with your first purchase. Inquire about any ongoing promotions and the necessary qualifications with a Birch Gold Group specialist.

The charge to open an account with Birch Gold Group stands at $50, with the combined custodian and annual maintenance fees amounting to $180.

6. Available Storage Options

The optimal storage location and company for your assets is contingent on your individual needs. Many investors prefer to store their items in the same geographic region where they reside. Conversely, some may opt for depositories located in states with favorable tax conditions.

Both Birch Gold Group and Augusta Precious Metals have established partnerships and networks with a variety of depository companies.

Augusta Precious Metals

Gold IRA Benefits

Augusta Precious Metals advocates for the Delaware Depository, a frontrunner in the secure storage industry for gold IRAs and precious metals.

However, you are not confined to this option: Augusta's website showcases more than a dozen alternative secure facilities throughout the United States.

These facilities are situated in the following locations:

Shiner, Texas Dallas, Texas South Fargo, North Dakota Los Angeles, California Salt Lake City, Utah Nampa, Idaho Wilmington, Delaware Bridgewater, Massachusetts New Castle, Delaware Springfield Gardens, New York Las Vegas, Nevada

Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group collaborates with Brink's Global Services and the Delaware Depository. Although Brink's depositories are dispersed across the US, Birch Gold Group advocates for the ones located in Utah, New York, or Los Angeles.

Your choice would simply hinge on the region that is most convenient for you. If your purchase is substantial enough, it will be delivered by the company's armored vehicle instead of being mailed.

It's worth noting that Birch does not provide a storage option for the International Depository Services in Texas, which might imply potential loss of specific benefits attributed to the laws in Texas.

7. Who Is The Winner

After examining the pros and cons, we are recommending Augusta Precious metals as the winner for a few reasons:

  • ZERO setup, custodian & storage fees for up to 10 years.
  • Educates consumers on how not to fall for lies and gimmicks some companies use.
  • A+ BBB rating. AAA from Business Consumer Alliance. 1000s of 5-star rankings.
  • 2022 & 2023 Money magazine: “Best Overall Gold IRA Company.”
  • Best for ethics and overall customer experience. High level of service – a reliable, respected gold IRA company.

Provided that you can satisfy the investment minimums, we conclude that Augusta emerges as the top choice.

However, it's worth noting that the services offered by Birch Gold Group remain commendable. While they might not surpass Augusta, they certainly outperform the majority of other precious metals IRA companies. Opting to invest with them ensures your assets are entrusted to a company genuinely invested in your long-term financial well-being.

Diversify Your Savings With A Precious Metals IRA

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