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Thursday, June 24, 2010

There’s Gold in Them Vending Machines

I don’t know about you but buying gold with my recession era dollars has been such a drag lately. You either have to go through a trading exchange and deal with minimal bids and multiple layers of bureaucracy. Or you have to go to a bank and fill out mountains of paperwork to buy gold bars. And then where do you place all these heavy bars? Under the bed? Would I have to buy a safe? If only there was only a convenient way to buy the precious metal.

Well, jewelry manufacturer and distributor Hon Corp. of South Korea has an answer: A vending machine that spits out miniature gold bars inside elaborately decorated cards. The “gold bar card kiosk,” aptly named “Gold Rush” was unveiled during the JCK Las Vegas jewelry show. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see it. However, I did get one of their nifty USB flash memory drives press kits designed like a gold bar.

The kiosks sell six types of 999.9 gold bars: 0.5g, 1g, 2g, 3g, 5g and 10g. The price of the gold fluctuates with the market value of the precious metal.

The machines have a 42-inch LCD touch screen (the largest LCD screen for vending machines in the world according to the company). They accept cash and credit. Customers can design the cards that house the gold bars. And they can be sent as gifts from the machine by just entering a shipping address. The vending machines will be installed in shopping malls, jewelry stores, duty-free shops, airports and hotels, the company said.

The Gold Rush Web site contains a video with young, giddy South Koreans buying gold from one of the machines. It’s as if they never saw gold bars come out of a vending machine.

Soon, we will all be giddy with excitement watching gold bars flow from vending machines.