sold like chocolate from German vending machines
By Murray Wardrop
Published: 7:30AM BST 17 Jun 2009
in Germany will soon be able to buy gold as easily as bars
of chocolate after a firm announced plans to install vending
machines selling the precious metal across the country.
TG-Gold-Super-Markt aims to introduce the machines
at 500 locations including train stations and airports in
The company, based near Stuttgart, hopes to tap into the
increasing interest in buying gold following disillusionment
in other investments due to the economic downturn.
Gold prices from the machines – about 30 per cent higher
than market prices for the cheapest product – will be updated
every few minutes.
Customers using a prototype "Gold to go" machine
at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday had the choice of purchasing
a 1g wafer of gold for €30, a 10g bar for €245, or gold coins.
A camera on the machine monitors transactions for money laundering
Thomas Geissler, who owns the company behind the idea, said:
"German investors have always preferred to hold a lot
of personal wealth in gold, for historical reasons. They have
twice lost everything.
"Gold is a good thing to have in your pocket in uncertain
Interest in gold has risen during the financial crisis, particularly
in Germany, according to GFMS, the London-based precious metals
Retail demand reached an estimated 108 tonnes in 2008, up
from 36 tonnes in 2007 and 28 tonnes in 2006.
Jens Willenbockel, an investment banker who saw the machine
while passing through the airport, told the Financial Times
that he believed there could be a market for the venture.
"Because of the crisis there is a lot of awareness of
gold," he said. "It is also a great gift for children
– for them getting gold is like a fairytale."