Not sure what to think: vending machines that dispense gold?

Current events, Personal finance

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Heard on BBC/NPR today: German company has apparently launched several gold vending machines (meaning vending machines that dispense gold, not gold-colored machines, although they are that as well) called .

Picture this: instead of putting in money and getting a Coke can, you put in some bills to purchase gold bullion. (And yes, the machine is apparently bullet-proof.)

Apparently the company specializes in selling gold online and has a robust IT security system but decided that a great way to expand the market even further would be to sell vending machines in public places like airports, fitness centers, cruise ships, and the like. It believes the recent financial crisis is at least half of the reason that people have become interested in purchasing gold, including from vending machines.

Spot prices are calculated every 8 seconds but prices in the vending machines change every 10 to keep up with market conditions. You can buy anything from gold bars at 1 gram to coins and bars at one ounce.

The first vending machine was installed in an Abu Dhabi hotel last year, and next month, machines will be set up in Las Vegas and Boca Raton, FL, according to an article in the Guardian published last Thursday. Because overhead costs are minimal, the company claims they can offer better prices.

So…would you buy gold from a vending machine?

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