It would be a direct investment. The metal would be released to her by a local dealer, and she would deposit it into a safe deposit box at a local bank.
Thank you for your patience, Colin.IRA investment limitations and regulations are defined in IRC sections 219, 408 and 4975, along with the accompanying regulations. One of the limitations includes 'Collectibles", such as antiques, artwork, sculpture, stamps, but also metals and gems. While there is no restriction on having the IRA invest into a mutual fund that invests directly, a direct investment into such gems would not be permitted, at least based on how current laws are drafted. There is an exception for silver and gold coins if minted by the US mint (as that would be permitted as per USCS, title 31; IRC sections 5112(a), (e) and (k)), but otherwise it is still forbidden at this time.Good luck.