Banks sell gold bars and coins, as well as silver coins, but the vast majority of U.S. banks don't make gold or silver available to the public. Banks usually avoid selling precious metals due to fluctuating prices. Can I buy gold or silver? Yes, and you can even transfer your IRA into gold if you wish. You can buy or sell precious metal ingots and coins from private traders.
The Federal Reserve does not buy or sell precious metals. The United States Mint offers ingots through dealers. An investor who wants to buy precious metals can buy them in the form of physical ingots or on paper. Gold or silver bars or coins can be purchased at an accredited retailer and stored in a safe at home, in a bank, or in an external warehouse.
In addition, you can purchase ingots in an assigned account at a bank that holds the ingots in the customer's name. The customer has full legal ownership of the gold. If the bank faces bankruptcy, its creditors have no right to claim the ingots in the assigned account, since they belong to the customer or owner and not to the bank. Buying gold at a bank requires physically visiting a location and then transporting the gold and precious metals to a storage facility.