Gold Bar Vending Machines
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Gold Bar Vending Machine
Photo by Guðmundur Ólafsson - image lic. under CC BY-SA 3.0
Gold bar vending machines are simply machines which sell gold bars. The gold bar vending machine began as a very simple idea that was to capitalize on the strong current of sentiment of gold being a safe investment and to attract new buyers to the gold market with a novel "blue ocean" idea (i.e. one which opens up a brand new market.)
The World's First Gold Bar Vending Machines
A very recent creation, gold bar vending machines have been a huge hit with customers who come in large numbers to the various malls, high end hotels and luxury casinos across many cities in which these gold bar vending machines have been installed. The machines have been manufactured by the German company Ex Orietnte Lux whose name literally translates into light from the east. Beginning with the United Arab Emirates this German company has now launched the gold bar vending machines across Europe and North America under the brand Gold To Go.
Some sources disagree as to which was the world's first gold bar vending machine. According to one Youtube video, the world's first gold bar vending machine was the Gold Rush machine revealed at the JCK converence in Las Vegas in 2010. However according to another source, Gold to Go® claims their machine at the Town Center mall in Florida (Dec 2010) was the first in actual use in the USA. However by this time the Gold To Go® gold vending machines were already in use (and popular) in Europe, Abi Dhabi and Dubai.
Where Are Gold Bar Vending Machine Locations?
Gold bar vending machine brand Gold To Go® has a map on their web site detailing locations where the machines can be found. As of June 2012, there are two in the USA - one in Las Vegas (of course!) at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, and one in Atlantic City, also at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino there. The company also has several machines in Germany, one in London at the Westfield Shopping Center, several others in Europe, one in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. 
Ex Oriente Lux has started the gold bar vending machines to make investment in gold much easier for the low risk investor. The whole concept is so simple that it has left many vending machine manufacturing companies wondering why they never came up with such a novel but simple concept before. The gold bar vending machine is directly linked to the stock markets and updates the price of the gold every 10 minutes, basing the price is on the spot price of gold.
The gold bar vending machine, though a novel and simple concept, has attracted many raised eyebrows. The initial launch saw many inquisitive customers lining up to inspect the machine. The gold bar vending machine still receives a steady flow of inquisitive customers each day, some of whom find the concept a little too novel and are skeptical that they can get something as alluring as gold from a vending machine. Most of the customers who lined up to purchase the gold bars from the vending machines were there to simply purchase a gold bar and keep it as a souvenir not so much as an investment - and in fact the "small bars" which can be obtained from the machines command a greater premium over spot than the larger gold bars purchased by investors with more serious reserves at their disposal.
However one of the attractions of the small gold bars is that they make attractive gifts, perhaps perfect for celebration of a new-born child... a "symbolic investment" which may gain value over the years.
What's interesting about the surge in popularity of the small gold bars is that they are almost akin to a return to the use of gold as a form of currency. Perhaps things will one day turn full circle and see gold in common circulation once again.
Types of Gold Bars Issued by Gold Bar Vending Machines
The gold bar vending machine has different types of gold bars to choose from according to your budget. You can purchase the 1 gram or 2.5 gram gold or the 5 gram gold bar. The gold bar vending machine also has coins of 1 ounce and gold bars of 250 grams. The gold bars of 250 grams are the costliest gold bars that can be purchased from the machines.
The gold bar vending machine first requires the deposition of cash as calculated by the vending machine. Once the customer has deposited the money and the machine has accepted the payment a matt finished black gift box appears from where normally we are used to seeing chocolates and water bottles being vended. Inside the black gift box is the gold bar of chosen weight sealed inside a plastic covering which bears a hologram label of anti-counterfeiting. The black gift box also contains information about the sale, the price per gram, purity and a return policy. If not satisfied, the customer has 10 days time to return the gold bar to the machine and claim the money back.
1Kg Gold Bars made by Agnico-Eagle
The gold bar vending machines are reported not to be manned by any armed guards since the state of the art technology used for protection will have thieves contending with advanced technology alarm systems and strong reinforced steel. Hence the company Ex Oriente Lux famously remarked that it would cost the thieves more to get out the gold than profit from the gold inside each machine!
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