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Candy Bar Or Gold Bar? Two Companies Offer Solid Gold Via Vending Machines.

Historically, during financial downturns, the price of precious metals rises. Paranoia about the safety of financial institutions and the future of the world economy has people investing in precious metals like gold, platinum and silver, driving prices up. At the moment, gold is actually off the charts having reached its highest prices in history.

Capitalizing on this trend is not one, but two, different companies that manufacture vending machines that dispense solid 24k gold krugerrands and/or coins.

In Las Vegas, Gold Rush kiosks by Korean company Hon, popped up this year and just recently Gold To Go installed their first Gold ATM vending machine in the Arab Emirates Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

While both brands make machines that take cash or credit cards, have touch screen menu navigation and the price of gold is kept updated at global market value via computer, there are differences. Most notably, the fact that the Gold Rush kiosks offer a shipping or gift option. You can enter an address into the touch screen when ordering, customize your card with special celebratory messages and the gold bar card will arrive at your chosen destination within 1 to 2 days of your purchase. They also offer a different number of gold denominations - Gold To Go offers 10 products, Gold Rush offers 6.

Gold To Go Vending Machines

Aesthetically, Gold-To-Go has the edge with an actual gold-plated vending machine. Specially branded coins and bars are available too, like the one shown below for the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi where they installed a "Gold To Go" brand gold vending machine for guests.

According to Gold To Go, "the business philosophy of selling precious metals via gold vending machines, is to give potential customers a sense of being able to acquire precious metals of highest quality (24 carat) at reasonable prices. Additionally the customer receives a money-back-guarantee. The bargain is largely independent of opening hours and without participation of sales personnel in a pleasant and reputable environment."

German company Ex Oriente Lux AG designed the machines.

GOLD RUSH vending machines

The Hon Corp., a Korean jewelry group and manufacturer with branches in New York and Hong Kong, unveiled its first Gold Rush vending machine in June 2009 in Seoul. Hon now has 20 machines in stores throughout Korea. The gold-bar cards are the size of credit cards and they offer 6 sizes, ranging from 0.5 gram to 10 grams.

A customer can get a card right out of the machine or have it sent to a specific address. "We wanted to change the role of gold, not only [as an] investment but as a gift," says David Lee, general manager of Hon. The company next hopes to install its machines in U.S. casinos, supermarkets, and other stores, he says.

Over beers two years ago, Virginia entrepreneurs Tim Oldfield and Price Shapiro devised a plan to make cashing in old jewelry quicker and more convenient than mailing it to a cash-for-gold broker or going to a pawnshop. They opened their first Goldrush kiosk in 2008 in a Virginia Beach (Va.) shopping center. The company now has 300 kiosks in the U.S. and 200 in Australia, with plans to expand to Asia and Europe, says Maurice Levine, Goldrush's global director.

Both companies plan to expand their machine locations into airports, convention centers, casinos, shopping malls and hotels in the near future.

Gold To Go
Gold Rush

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