Last week we discussed the world's first vending machine. Tim L. Shuck forwarded this story about the latest one - it dispenses not holy water, but something equally worshiped: gold. Tim also supplied the image of the machine, which he found on the company website (gold-super-markt.de). Thanks! -Editor Shoppers in Germany will soon be able to buy gold as easily as bars of chocolate after a firm announced plans to install vending machines selling the precious metal across the country.
TG-Gold-Super-Markt aims to introduce the machines at 500 locations including train stations and airports in Germany.
The company, based near Stuttgart, hopes to tap into the increasing interest in buying gold following disillusionment in other investments due to the economic downturn.
Gold prices from the machines – about 30 per cent higher than market prices for the cheapest product – will be updated every few minutes.
Customers using a prototype "Gold to go" machine at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday had the choice of purchasing a 1g wafer of gold for €30, a 10g bar for €245, or gold coins.
A camera on the machine monitors transactions for money laundering controls.
Jens Willenbockel, an investment banker who saw the machine while passing through the airport, told the Financial Times that he believed there could be a market for the venture.
"Because of the crisis there is a lot of awareness of gold," he said. "It is also a great gift for children – for them getting gold is like a fairytale."
Calling these items gold "bars" is a bit of a fairytale, too. They look to be about the size and weight of a lotus blossom... -Editor
To read the complete article, see: Gold Sold Like Chocolate from German Vending Machines (www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis
Wayne Homren, Editor
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