We are used to getting many items out of machines, and now you can get gold. Gold vending machines already exist in England, the United States, the Middle East and Europe. Recently, a gold vending machine was installed in a busy shopping district in Beijing, China. The gold vending machine allows users to receive up to 5.5 lbs. of gold with each withdrawal at a cost of about 1 million yuan ($160,000). China is already the world’s largest gold bullion consumer. Customers can insert cash or use a bank debit card in order to withdraw gold coins or gold bars of various weight based on market prices that day. The vending machine was installed by the Beijing Agricultural Commercial Bank and a gold trading company on the popular Wangfujing Street shopping district.

woman next to gold ATM

Wondering how a machine like this is safe from criminals? Cash for gold vending machines are equipped with various security measures, including anti-money laundering software. Most machines are stainless steel and molybdenum steel. The gold vending machine weighs over 1,000 pounds. It would take a mighty large onslaught, probably with a military tank to steal any of the gold or the machine itself.

So who buys gold out of a vending machine? The gold vending machines are in hotel lobbies or fancy shopping districts so most of the people using a cash for gold machine is probably using it as a novelty. While gold is often seen as an investment against inflation, the price of gold can be fairly volatile from day to day. With current gold prices hovering above 1,500 dollars, a consumer would have to wonder if it is time to buy gold, or to sell it.

In the United States, there are Gold Vending Machines by Gold To Go in Las Vegas and Boca Raton, Florida. So unless you want buy a plane ticket, the best way to buy gold is still the old fashioned way, from a store.

Photo credit: China Daily