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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Gold Vending Machines Come to U.S.

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Still procrastinating over what to get that special someone for Christmas? You might want to head over to the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton, Fla., but be sure your budget is up to it: now you can buy gold bullion from a vending machine as a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list.

The “Gold To Go ATM gold bullion vending machine,” made in Germany, is the first of its kind in the U.S. and was launched on Friday. Similar machines have already been installed at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and also in Germany, Spain, and Italy. (A Vietnam bank has its own version, popular in a population that trusts gold far more than paper money.) Plans are afoot to expand to Las Vegasand other locations after a three-month period of test marketing in Florida.

The American “gold ATM” dispenses newly minted .999 pure Credit Suisse gold bullion bars and U.S.-minted American Eagle gold coins to customers in prices ranging from $120 to $1,450, according to the company. The machine is protected by an armed security guard—although, since the machine is always online and prices are adjusted every 90 seconds, there’s no need for retail staff.

According to an Associated Press report, Thomas Geissler, CEO of Ex Oriente Lux, the company placing the machines, credits the origin of the machines (the one in Dubai has to be restocked every two days) to Lehman Brothers’ collapse. His clients turned from financial industry products to more solid assets, such as gold, and that drove him to come up with the machine, which itself is covered in 24-karat gold leaf.

Hey, has anyone got change for $1,000?


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