Gold to Go
Gold to Go is a product brand made by the TG Gold-Super-Markt corporation designed to dispense items made of pure gold from automated banking vending machines. The first gold-plated vending machine was located in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, dispensed 320 items made of gold, including 10-gram gold bars and customized gold coins. There are currently six vending machines installed across Europe and Peru. The first vending machine in the United States was installed in Boca Raton, Florida in December 2010. The "gold ATMs" are designed to be placed in shopping malls and airports and are meant to make ordinary people comfortable with the idea of investing in gold. The vending machines update their prices to market value every minute over an encrypted internet connection.
The concept was developed by Thomas Geissler, who has previously created an online platform for trading precious metals. He stated that his initial inspiration was observing the "seemingly endless" line of traditional toiletries vending machines at airports and train stations, and during his search for advertising models for an online marketplace. The initial prototype system was installed in Frankfurt in 2009, where it dispensed 1-gram pieces of gold at a 30% premium above market price.
The vending machines are covered in gold leaf, and include a touch screen, cash and credit card slots, and a lighted display showcase. Users must scan identification for purchases exceeding the money laundering limit within a given time. The machines are fitted "like an armored vehicle" and tested with explosives to prevent theft, and include surveillance cameras that record all transactions.
Gold bars made of 24-carat gold are sold in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 250 gram and 1 oz sizes. Other items for sale include gift boxes of gold coins with symbols such as the Krugerrand, a maple leaf, or a kangaroo, and are dispensed in "handsome" boxes. Each gold bar is sealed in plastic with an anti-counterfeit hologram label, and comes with a description of its purity and price per gram, as well as information about the sale and the company's 10-day return policy.
The German corporation planned to distribute 500 "gold ATMs" throughout airports and rail stations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Kumasi the capital Ashanti City-State. In the meanwhile the company FONDS-Zentrum Nürnberg in Nuremberg Germany bought the assets of the Gold ATMs to distribute the Gold vending machines to private companies or persons.
- Hearing, Roger (2010-05-13). "'Gold to Go': the ATM that dispenses gold bars". BBC.
- Bakr, Amena (2010-05-13). "Thar's gold in that vending machine". MSNBC.
- "ATM spits out gold". CNN. 2010-12-18. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- Dougherty, Carter (17 June 2009). "Looking to Buy Gold? Grab a Sack of Quarters First". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- "Gold to go". Reuters. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- Coxworth, Ben (13 May 2010). "GOLD TO GO - the Gold Bullion vending machine". Gizmag. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- "Gold Bar Vending Machines". Gold Bullion Bars: Gold Bullion Vending Machines. Retrieved 31 October 2012.