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Gold dispensing ATM machines
December 17, 2010 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Gold dispensing ATM machines are becoming more popular.

* Shoppers insert cash or credit cards and use a computer touch-screen to choose the weight and style they want. The machine spits out the gold in a classy black box with a tamperproof seal.

* Prices are refigured automatically every 10 minutes to reflect market fluctuations.

* The machine, which will hold around $150,000 in cash and gold, will be flanked by an armed bodyguard for now. Several live security cameras are fixed inside and outside the machine.

* Dave Jones, who brokered the deal to bring the machines to the U.S., predicts gold will become a parallel currency in the next five years. He said they plan to install about 40 more machines at upscale malls and hotels around the U.S.
posted by stbalbach (97 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Doesn't really seem to be an ATM machine at all.
posted by koeselitz at 11:56 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


if only the web bubble at its peak hadn't made predictions of alternative currencies.
posted by JPD at 11:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Flagged for "ATM machine".
posted by dmz at 11:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [23 favorites]


*obligatory joke about Dave Jones' lockers*
posted by entropicamericana at 11:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Will it require a PIN number?
posted by Floydd at 11:58 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


s/ATM/Vending/g;
posted by Skorgu at 11:58 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


A vending machine, yes. ATM, no.
posted by boo_radley at 11:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


As long as we're picking nits, shouldn't "gold dispensing" be hyphenated?
posted by Bromius at 11:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yep, if you can't get gold bars from a bank teller, then you can't get them from an automatic teller machine machine.
posted by Roger Dodger at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2010


The machine, which will hold around $150,000 in cash and gold, will be flanked by an armed bodyguard for now.

So it's come to this. Humanity will be employed guarding the machines that took their jobs.
posted by DU at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2010 [59 favorites]


From the corporate ad-speak:
The GOLD to go® gold vending machine is largely burglar-proof and tamper-resistant.

That "largely" part seems like a pretty big caveat to include in your own advertising text.

They should also dispense monocles and big cigars to properly fulfill all your rich fat cat fantasies.
posted by Babblesort at 12:05 PM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


...then you could take those 40 glittering gold coins to the market and buy a fine fat goose for your goodly wife.*
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:06 PM on December 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


The machine, which will hold around $150,000 in cash and gold.. is REALLY REALLY heavy.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:06 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can I buy stock in Glenn Beck?
posted by ghharr at 12:06 PM on December 17, 2010


GOOGLE ATM MACHINE
posted by joe lisboa at 12:08 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bet they make the exchange at a very "competitive" rate.
posted by nervousfritz at 12:08 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


They should also dispense monocles and big cigars to properly fulfill all your rich fat cat fantasies.

I think the fantasies that involve gold as an alt currency are better fulfilled by shotguns and fuel cans.
posted by clarknova at 12:10 PM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


The machine, which will hold around $150,000 in cash and gold.. is REALLY REALLY heavy.

Maybe, but it won't be because of the gold. At $1376/oz, that's just 6.8lbs (~3.1kg), even if the entire $150,000 is in gold.
posted by jedicus at 12:11 PM on December 17, 2010


$150k in gold, at $1300/oz, is less than 116 troy ounces, or less than 8 pounds.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:11 PM on December 17, 2010


The machine, which will hold around $150,000 in cash and gold.. is REALLY REALLY heavy.

Right now, $150,000 in gold weighs about 109 oz.

So not necessarily; the gold on its own weights less than 15 pounds.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:12 PM on December 17, 2010


(I got my calculation wrong; 16 oz per pound, of course)
posted by mr_roboto at 12:13 PM on December 17, 2010


GOOOOOOLD!

*shoots pistols in air, does high-kicking dance*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:13 PM on December 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Emirates Palace launches gold vending machine.

It made me gag just to look at it.
posted by bardophile at 12:13 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


{upgrades plan to include cherry picker and dumptruck}
posted by clavdivs at 12:14 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This only makes sense if there's a top-hat and monocle dispensing machine right next to it.
posted by ob at 12:15 PM on December 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


mr_roboto: Gold is priced in troy oz (14.58333 per pound).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:16 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


$150,000 in ...gold.. (I'm assuming)

At current prices ($1380USD/tr.oz.), about 7.5 lbs/3.3kg.
posted by bonehead at 12:16 PM on December 17, 2010


I think I know where we go from here.

People will buy gold and will tire of carrying it. Instead they will take it to the goldsmith who will then issue them credit notes for the gold which can be exchanged instead. However, these goldsmiths, which eventually become banks, figure out that the gold is rarely redeemed and start lending the gold out. Some will go bankrupt losing the gold of their patrons.

Eventually the populace will tire of goldsmiths and banks causing bank runs and losing their money and will demand the government steps in. The government will then issue their own gold certificates guaranteed by the government instead of a private bank.

The government will soon tire of being in the gold market business along with the huge inflationary pressures of new gold discoveries and confiscate all of the monetary gold in circulation moving everybody to a fiat currency which will be backed by the full faith and credit of the government.

Is that about right, folks?
posted by Talez at 12:18 PM on December 17, 2010 [79 favorites]


How much does $150,000 in gold weigh at today's current prices? Does anyone know? Anyone?
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:21 PM on December 17, 2010 [23 favorites]


One way to make a lot of money is to chase a fad, and if a good one isn't available, why not manufacture one?
posted by JHarris at 12:21 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want to make some kind of "Yes, but the Troy McClure Ounce is solid gold, baby" joke here but now I'm just sad again about Phil Hartman.
posted by cortex at 12:23 PM on December 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


How much does $150,000 in gold weigh at today's current prices? Does anyone know? Anyone?

MetaFilter is kind of like Wolfram Alpha, except it only does the calculations in order to prove that you're wrong about something, and it usually gives several answers that don't match exactly.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:24 PM on December 17, 2010 [45 favorites]


Gold advertising always touts the impending collapse of the dollar. If this is true then why do they accept dollars as payment? I can only suppose the sellers run to the gun store at the end of the day and trade their soon-to-be-worthless dollars for 7.62x39 ammo. But what does the gun store do?
posted by ChrisHartley at 12:26 PM on December 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


MeFi: to prove that you're wrong about something
posted by stbalbach at 12:27 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


But what does the gun store do?

Barter favors for soda pop, if Left 4 Dead has taught me anything.
posted by cortex at 12:28 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


A photo of the guard.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:30 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cash ATMs take dispenser cartridges, this one holds 16,000 notes. $320k of $20s or $1.6 million in Benjamins.
posted by Skorgu at 12:30 PM on December 17, 2010


If this is true then why do they accept dollars as payment?

You best shut your mouth boy, that sounds suspiciously like some kinda commie talk. Mebbe even eurocommie talk. You know what we do to them 'round these parts, dontcha?
posted by aramaic at 12:32 PM on December 17, 2010


Barter favors for soda pop, if Left 4 Dead has taught me anything.

Bah! The real money is in soda pop CAPS, if Fallout 3 has taught me anything.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:35 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Obligatory Non Sequitur
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:40 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gold. How quaint. Another 20 years and I'll be standing next to a water cooler with a shotgun, a bowie knife, 30 cases of shells and a rabid foam around my mouth, selling 1oz shots in exchange for a gallon of gas.
posted by spicynuts at 12:41 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I usually work in smaller denominations. Let me know when it spits out silver and copper pieces.
posted by stevis23 at 12:41 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hm. If so, then there should be a fine market in these areas in some combination of fake gold, gold detecting kits, and fake gold detecting kits that don't actually detect my fake gold.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:42 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


gold will become a parallel currency in the next five years.

Maybe, but everyone will be moving their gold around with debit/credit cards or RFID tags or biometric scanners.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Molybdenum is where it's at, suckas.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:50 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


How come gold looks insanely tacky when it's presented as anything other than an ingot?
posted by maxwelton at 12:53 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


jedicus: " Maybe, but it won't be because of the gold. At $1376/oz, that's just 6.8lbs (~3.1kg), even if the entire $150,000 is in gold."

Funny. I would have thought it was more.

That reminds me of this story from eriko.
posted by zarq at 12:55 PM on December 17, 2010


An ATM machine would dispense ATMs.
posted by grubi at 12:56 PM on December 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


It should feature a life sized gold bust of Mr. T. His mouth opens and spits gold coins at you.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:58 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


The perfect PR gift for your organization that has lots of money, but no imagination.

(rich looking Saudi oil man, buxom (and perhaps just maybe topless) eastern European lady and clever British banker looking stereotypes suit sold separately)

Bling like this is a magnate for new money that won't be keeping it.
posted by astrobiophysican at 12:58 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


How come gold looks insanely tacky when it's presented as anything other than an ingot?

Clearly you have never seen my grandmother's solid-gold smile.
posted by griphus at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2010


The worst part is when you press E4, and the gold bar comes out and just hangs there. Then you've got to buy another damn gold bar to push that one out. Then you've got all those extra gold bars on your desk. And people keep asking you stupid questions about them. "What's with all the gold?" "I'm starting an gold solder home business / Mr. T just started interning / My brother from Switzerland asked me to hang on to these / etc" So then you start stuffing it in the drawer, and you know gold's atomic number is way up there, around 75 or 80, and one day the sliding rollers on the drawer breaks and you can't get that quarterly report out when Barclays is on the conference call. So then the director comes down and rips you a new one, and then they've got to send someone out to unjam the desk, and you've got to haul 100 pounds of metal out to your car in the middle of July, and there isn't one damn dolly in the building. And... and, I'm out of ideas.
posted by crapmatic at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


Hm. If so, then there should be a fine market in these areas in some combination of fake gold, gold detecting kits, and fake gold detecting kits that don't actually detect my fake gold.
Sounds like I'm one step ahead, with my plan to sell fake fake gold detecting kits detecting kits.
posted by Flunkie at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I usually work in smaller denominations. Let me know when it spits out silver and copper pieces.

I'm betting on the rarer currencies. Anyone have any electrum pieces they'll sell for my $2 bills?
posted by meinvt at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Prices are refigured automatically every 10 minutes to reflect market fluctuations."

I bet it's a little slower to update when prices are falling than when prices are rising.

Makes me think of a hack. Rather then stealing the machine, hack into the network. Inform the target machine that gold is trading at obscenely low prices, and purchase it as legally as you want. Or, for the lulz, make the entire network sell at a dollar an ounce.
posted by Xoebe at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Let me know when it spits out silver and copper pieces.

No one ever wants to take my damn electrum.
posted by GuyZero at 1:00 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


If the gold ATMs do one positive thing on this planet it will be this.

One less sorry ass loser holding - dancing - hiding behind - or waving a huge "WE BUY GOLD" sign on our city streets.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 1:00 PM on December 17, 2010


No one ever wants to take my damn electrum.

Don't come cryin' to me, buddy, things are just as bad in Midgar. Now would you like to buy these flowers or not? They're only 500 gil!
posted by griphus at 1:05 PM on December 17, 2010


Twenty-five electrum, same as in Bree.
posted by grubi at 1:05 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


grubi: "An ATM machine would dispense ATMs."

Yes, but how much would they weigh?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:06 PM on December 17, 2010


Xoebe: even better; just wait until something happens that depresses the price, jam the internet connection and wait for the price to rise. Instant no-risk arbitrage, angry-men-with-baseball-bats included!
posted by Skorgu at 1:08 PM on December 17, 2010


One way to make a lot of money is to chase a fad, and if a good one isn't available, why not manufacture one?
posted by JHarris


.........mmmmm....smells like capitalism.
posted by lalochezia at 1:18 PM on December 17, 2010


Cash ATMs take dispenser cartridges, this one holds 16,000 notes. $320k of $20s or $1.6 million in Benjamins.

16,000 new notes. If there's one thing I've noticed about US ATMs they dispense old, crappy notes that look like they've been in circulation for 20 years.
posted by Talez at 1:21 PM on December 17, 2010


Ohhh an upscale mall what's that like?
posted by pianomover at 1:26 PM on December 17, 2010


I also have heard that if you punch a frat boy he spits out a gold coin.
posted by pianomover at 1:28 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I usually work in smaller denominations. Let me know when it spits out silver and copper pieces.

And while you're at it, include the other element in Group 11 of the Periodic Table. It's for the high rollers, though, because only a few atoms of Roentgenium are known to have existed.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:31 PM on December 17, 2010


Hopefully these will get so popular they'll have to automate the process of creating and distributing the machines so we really can have an ATM Machine.
posted by boo_radley at 1:31 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I usually work in smaller denominations. Let me know when it spits out silver and copper pieces.

Want to invest in a new business opportunity? I'm going to buy up a ton of gold and silver, melt it down, combine it together into electrum, and make money when the resultant alloy is worth more than the constituent parts!
posted by Justinian at 1:33 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A bit of searching and I find that free-standing ATMs average about 250 pounds. So you are looking at around 1 ton for every 4 ATMs you want to make available in your ATM machine.
posted by Babblesort at 1:46 PM on December 17, 2010


1 ton = 8 ATMs
posted by Burhanistan at 1:47 PM on December 17, 2010


Whoops. 2000 lbs per ton. Not 1000.
I rememberz conversion rates good.
posted by Babblesort at 1:51 PM on December 17, 2010


1 ton = 8 ATMs

I get 'em freeze-dried. Weigh about 125 lbs apiece. Much easier to carry.
posted by grubi at 1:52 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it bad that when I saw this post I mostly thought about the vending machines that are placed in JRPG dungeons in places where it makes no sense to have a shopkeeper but you still need to restock before the boss, and so I keep hoping they also sell life potions/phoenix downs/panaceas too?
posted by NoraReed at 1:58 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I usually work in smaller denominations. Let me know when it spits out silver and copper pieces.

There's a copper-dispensing precious-metals machine in my neighborhood; it, too, contains $150,000 of the precious metal -- the machine is approximately 25 feet tall, 18 feet wide, and thirty feet deep. I swiped my debit card and asked for $500 worth. It dispensed a cube approximately eight inches on a side, weighing 125 pounds, along with a complimentary two-wheeled dolly to use to take it home. I used to hide my precious-metal stash in my attic, but, well, you'd be surprised what renter's insurance doesn't cover.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:59 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


But is it an automatic ATM machine or a manual ATM machine?
posted by straight at 2:04 PM on December 17, 2010


Flagged for "ATM machine".

This again? Redundant, yes; error, no. The usage "[acronym1] [word that last letter of acronym stands for]" has been around for at least 40 years; cf. SALT talks. Language evolves. Deal with it already. See also.

1And if, when you saw this, you wanted to say that ATM is an initialism, not an acronym, then I used "acronym" just to annoy you.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:09 PM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


When I put my personal PIN number in the automatic ATM machine, I only ever take out cash money, never gold Au metal, because when I walk into my local mercantile store shop establishment and try and buy a bottle container vessel of Coke cola soda beverage drink liquid, cash currency money is the only tender I can offer that they find acceptable to take and receive.
posted by eritain at 2:14 PM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


AzraelBrown: i was really expecting you to end that with a math problem
posted by leotrotsky at 2:31 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Language evolves.

THE LAST REFUGE OF THE SCOUNDREL
posted by grubi at 2:35 PM on December 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


eritain, cease and desist!
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:45 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Emirates Palace launches gold vending machine.

From the article: Prices are updated in real time, and all items come with a money back guarantee, offering investors “an opportunity to top up their gold caches”. I must say, it isn't a lack of conveniently located gold vending machines that's held up my gold-cache topping-up project.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:48 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I only ever take out cash money, never gold Au metal, because when I walk into my local mercantile store shop establishment and try and buy a bottle container vessel of Coke cola soda beverage drink liquid

All of this is because you breathe the breath-gas of a man-animal.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:55 PM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


from bardophile's link: "Emirates Palace initiated The Gold List earlier this year for guests and visitors to purchase special items to treasure their memories of their visit and provide cherished gifts from the Emirates Palace Boutique."

So it's pretty much just a rich-people version of these - except instead of Sea World or Disneyland, it's a maple leaf or a kangaroo. You know, because it's in the UAE.
posted by Lou Stuells at 3:03 PM on December 17, 2010


I remember when I used to read The Onion because it was so much funnier than the real news.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 4:11 PM on December 17, 2010


Lou Stuells : So it's pretty much just a rich-people version of these - except instead of Sea World or Disneyland, it's a maple leaf or a kangaroo. You know, because it's in the UAE.

Heh... Y'know, the funny part about that, I probably would buy a market-priced souvenir gram of (weight and purity certified) gold stamped with some cheesy profile of a dolphin or train or theocratic monarch or worlds-largest-ball-of-twine or the like - As long as I could put in my 200 quarters and turn the wheel myself and watch it get stamped out by the neat mechanism inside.

A rectangular picture of a flower that just reads "1 gram .999 gold", not so much.
posted by pla at 5:30 PM on December 17, 2010


Someone's going to install a gun-dispensing machine next to it and then we'll have some fun.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:33 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The machine, which will hold around $150,000 in cash and gold, will be flanked by an armed bodyguard for now. Several live security cameras are fixed inside and outside the machine.

Although a "staffed" ATM (outside a bank, for example) might only contain $10-50k, a standalone ATM kiosk usually holds between $250-500k - Half a million bucks.

Seems kinda silly to post a guard outside an ATM worth only a third as much as the reinforced ex-Photo-Hut building in the mall parking lot.
posted by pla at 5:36 PM on December 17, 2010


Talez: "I think I know where we go from here."

Party pooper.
posted by deborah at 6:10 PM on December 17, 2010


"Emirates Palace launches gold vending machine."

Yeah, fuck Punkin Chunkin. I want to watch this show.
posted by Eideteker at 6:25 PM on December 17, 2010


The Washington, D.C. Metro subway fare machines give you gold dollar coins in change. It's the most pleasant thing about a system that has become otherwise less and less pleasant.

The coins are, I suppose, base metal plated with brass, but they're nice and shiny. People who haven't seen them do a double take when you pay with them.

I'd rather have the live crustacean vending machine.
posted by bad grammar at 7:01 PM on December 17, 2010


It's good to see that the gold bubble is inflating nicely. It looks like the interval between bubbles is getting shorter. We still haven't recovered from the real estate speculation bubble.
posted by dibblda at 7:19 PM on December 17, 2010


As long as we're picking nits, shouldn't "gold dispensing" be hyphenated?

Well, no; they could be made of gold, which would acccount for what some mefites imagine to be the significant weight.

So it's come to this. Humanity will be employed guarding the machines that took their jobs.

All this has happened before and will happen again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:19 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


becoming more popular

I admit that it's technically true in a lawyerly sort of way, but when something goes from "utterly nonexistent" to "extraordinarily rare," calling it "becoming more popular" does some violence to common understanding.

I mean, it's technically, narrowly true to say that by 2005, being buttfucked to death by a horse had become so popular in Washington that the government was forced to take special action to reduce the frequency of equine-intercourse-related deaths. It just carries some misleading connotations.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:30 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someone's going to install a gun-dispensing machine next to it and then we'll have some fun.

There is actually a strip mall in my town with a bank, a gun store, and a liquor store. Always seemed to me like an ill-planned grouping. It's a sort of game in my family to make up stories about how the other stores in the strip mall will be utilized as a part of the drunken bank robbery (my favorite was my sister's, which described how the lack of a particular specimen at the exotic fish emporium was the catalyst for the drinking binge that led to the robbery).
posted by jouir at 10:49 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I bet the gold vending machine is more at risk for burglary than a regular ATM because the gold is not traceable the same way bills are.
posted by breath at 11:07 PM on December 17, 2010


Someone please link to the first heist, thanks!
posted by Theta States at 10:25 AM on December 20, 2010


StickyCarpet: "And while you're at it, include the other element in Group 11 of the Periodic Table. It's for the high rollers, though, because only a few atoms of Roentgenium are known to have existed."

ObSF: Larry Niven, "YET ANOTHER MODEST PROPOSAL: The Roentgen Standard"
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


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