Gold ATMs - First In Abu Dhabi, Soon Everywhere: Gold Is Now One Step Closer To Full Currency Status

Tyler Durden's picture

Just in case you are worried that all those gold coins you have buried in your back yard will never be accepted as (il)legal tender, here comes Abu Dhabi with a gold ATM machine, making gold-based "currency" transactions one step closer. This is a harbinger of things to come, as people increasingly demand to transact in non-daily violatable pieces of paper. This is also the nightmare scenario for all central banks, which have to be seeing developments in the precious metal space, and finally realizing that in the absence of prudent monetary policy, the people, as we noted yesterday, will take (non-dilutable) matters into their own hands. The Fed dilemma: recognition that the fiat "race to the bottom" has to be contained (unlikely) or confiscation of precious metals (see Roosevelt executive order 6102).

From the AFP:

There's no mistaking what's in this vending machine. The well-heeled in the Gulf can now grab "gold to go" from a hotel lobby in the United Arab Emirates, when the need for a quick ingot strikes.

On Thursday, a day after its inauguration, the shiny machine attracted spectators of many different nationalities who gathered to watch whenever an enthusiast was struck with the urge to splurge on a bar of the precious metal.

Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel became the first place outside Germany to install "gold to go, the world's first gold vending machine," said a statement from Ex Oriente Lux AG, the German company behind the vending machine.

"In addition to one-gram, five-gram and 10-gram bars of gold, the machine also dispenses gold coins," it added.

Gold rates are constantly updated inside the shiny machine -- itself gold-plated -- in the hotel's lobby, courtesy of a built-in computer connected to a dealer which sells gold online.

"This eliminates the risk premiums usually associated with precious metal trading," the German company said.

Hotel general manager Hans Olbertz said they wanted the hotel to be the first in the world to offer guests what he called "this golden service."

The Emirates Palace is often used by visiting foreign dignitaries, and its top floor is reserved for the rulers of the UAE federation's seven emirates, each of whom has his own suite.


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Martel's picture

Finns had this stuff at the end of 80's, and I suspect it has been tried in other places, too. Sorry to rain on your parade.

Bananamerican's picture

yup. Abu Dhabi?

This has FOIL written all over it...

Martel's picture

It can survive as a curiosity, if the vending machines are in good locations. The Finnish experiment was at the very end of a stock & real estete bull market, and the vending machine was in a too secluded place.

As for this becoming mainstream, I really doubt it.

Marla And Me's picture

Well, at least we know what they've been doing with all the gold we sent them to pay for our oil.  You didn't think they took worthless paper in exchange for the most valuable thing on earth did you?

DosZap's picture

Germans doing it also....................other places I think in Europe.

One thing for sure, their EMPTY today.

AnAnonymous's picture

What is the difference between this machine and candies bar ATM machines?

Candies bar one step closer to full currency status?

Might be already the case for kids.

tmosley's picture

A lot of people junked you for it, but your criticism is valid.

Gold will only begin to regain currency status when it is used AS CURRENCY.  These machines might indicate that that is happening, or it might just act as an automatic coin shop.

If we had gold ATMs popping up all over the place, I might say that the transition is indeed real and sustainable. 

It will happen eventually, but this is nothing but anecdotal evidence.  

akak's picture

When vending machines start accepting gold, and not just spitting it out in exchange for fiat currency, THEN we will see the real move towards the reinstitution of gold as money.

Rick64's picture

Try putting one of those in a 7/11.

Jeff Lebowski's picture

Let me know where these do get installed...

I'd like to put in a Saturday night special vending machine in the adjacent alley.

tmosley's picture

Eh?  You planning on robbing an ATM with a gun?

A crane and a sealable lead box would probably more appropriate.  I'm having trouble picturing that in vending machine form.

primefool's picture

Bennie Mae is not a bit worried. HIS system has an inevitable internal logic. There is no way out of HIS system. See you can whatever you want "money" - beenie dont care. You still have to pay "taxes" in HIS money. Not any other. He is doing a bang up job in terms of his orthodoxy - which is highly documented and taught in all higher institurions and blessed by various dignitaries/Nobel laureates etc. It therefore has acceptance and credibility - well indeed it has to - amonst people who want to participate in HIS system - which is most of what we call the economy. So - folks can play all they want with gold, cigarettes or whatever else they fancy - it does'nyt in any way spoil HIS game.

ExistentialSkeptic's picture

Actually, I think it does spoil his game. He needs for peeps to HOLD his $FRN, not just trade for them just-in-time to write the check. Imagine if only the peeps' payroll deductions ended up being held as $FRN, and the end-of-week savings ended up squirreled away in metals. Everyone. All the time. I don't think he'd like that very much.

masterinchancery's picture

you only have to pay taxes in Z Ben's currency if you are a citizen and/or work in Z Ben land

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Gold ATM's will not be succesful in the US. The average people are broke. The rich peole know where to get, where to store it, how to move it and how not to be taxed on it. (Selling less than 30k at the time.)

Yes some Joes will buy a few pieces here and there, at super high premiums and will probably sell them at their daughter's graduation, to put a deposit on a VW yellow bug.     

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Great, more evidence of why we should avoid this gold mania!!!

b_thunder's picture


if this is not a contrarian indicator (at least in the short- and intermediate-term) - then what is?


BrianOFlanagan's picture

you cannot be serious.  How many people own gold and how many own stocks?  When the people own more gold than equities, then you have your contrary indicator.

Despite what you read here and in the media, the American public is clueless about gold.

masterinchancery's picture

In reality, a poll of my financially affluent friends shows virtually no gold ownership, let alone at the lower economic levels.  Hard to see a bubble there.

akak's picture

Stop trying to rebut Leo with logic or truth --- he is too sophisticated to be bothered by such trivia.

DosZap's picture


You got matter how many facts I throw down, point to websites, I get the Deer in the headlights look from most.

Other than talking to the folks that are ON the train, I am going to stop trying to reason with friends.

Gonna be tough after the fact, and looking at them, and hearing You tried to tell me.............but, so goes life.

ExistentialSkeptic's picture

I'm confused.  If the Arab states got together and created their own currency, and then put in ATMs that dispensed that currency, no one would notice -- but because some entepreneur gets ahead of the curve enough to deduce that they won't and thinks that they'll go back to a traditional hard currency system (gold), that's a bad sign for the traditional hard currency in question?

DosZap's picture


the Middle Eastrern Arab states HAVE had meeting's on same,,,,,,

Also, the Aryans ( IRAN), so named by the Nazi's, in WWII............

Are punching out gold coins like crazy.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Europe had them installed last year and even then some idiots were pointing to it as a sign of top.

Gold climbed $200 more. Twice.

The real top is in contrarians. There's too many out there.

ExistentialSkeptic's picture

I'm beginning to think this "I'll out-contrary the contrarians and be even smarter than they are!" impulse comes from not getting out much.  Today I got a Facebook message inviting me to a "Gold Party" from a chick who I know sells cheap silver jewelry in a tupperware-style scam -- turns out the party is a chance to "turn your old gold jewelry into fast cash"!

As long as the small-timers like this girl are still getting takers to trade in their junk jewelry for the fast $FRN, we have a LONG way to go.

Nothingman's picture

Looking back to the '79-'80 highs in gold, the Arab oil exporters took huge losses when they purchased gold at $600-700/oz en masse, and then the controllers of gold sold and crashed the price into the $300 range.  However, I think the fundamentals (global fiat currency and sovereign debt crisis) are a bit different, this time.

The_Euro_Sucks's picture

I thought that bits, bites and paperpulp are in a maniastatus for 40 years.

Gold...Bitches's picture

Great, more evidence of why we should avoid this gold mania!!!

I prefer to avoid the fiat paper/electronic money mania myself.

dumpster's picture

leo  gold is not in a mania stage

perhaps the mania for guaranteed public funds

best to help your pension buddies find a percentage of gold in their funds

gold will go to balance out the true mania the rush to the bottom of the printing press and debt .




Gordon_Gekko's picture

FYI, Leo buys only solar stocks.

Nothingman's picture

and wind stocks!  companies that can't even be competitive with huge government subsidies... lol.

WilliamShatner's picture


This is just one case in a country where gold has been valued as currency for centuries.  I also remember hearing about gold vending machines in German airports last year some time, so it's really nothing new.

Wait until these vending machines start popping up all over the place in the US, then you might be on to something there.  Right now, all I see are signs saying "We BUY gold".

The only new type of vending machine I've heard being proposed here in California is for dispensing pot. Kinda tells you a bit about how degraded our society has become.

A nation of dopers and debtors.


Martel's picture

The only new type of vending machine I've heard being proposed here in California is for dispensing pot

From the vendor POV, pot probably has a better margin than gold ingots.



GoinFawr's picture

Kill two birds with one stone (pun intended): find a dispenser that stocks 'Kona Gold'.

Seriously though, my friend with MS, and my other Friend's Gra'ma getting her cancer treated with chemo' (one who can again walk without crutches and the other who can now keep food down), right along side all the harmless hippies/college students playing acoustic guitar or WOW 'til their eyes bleed, think pot vending machines are a great idea.

Now take to your right wing lunacy and go have another pack of cigarettes, a bag of 'low-fat' Olestra laden chips and wash it down with twenty beers, and a handful of double Americanos, and see if you can't calm down; though I doubt you'll be able to walk, let alone see straight. Careful not to OD! Something, btw, which nobody has EVER in the history of the world accomplished smoking mary jane.

You people (BillyS, I'd give good odds that you fit neatly into the following category) with your glaring, curmudgeonly hypocrisy make me truly ill. Go elect another coke sniffer to run your military rampant around the world stirring up hornets' nests and killing your economy, along with your servicemen, 'cuz it sure seems like that is what really prangs your wangs. But sign up first, please. 

Not that your current administration stuffed with elitists/tyrants as it is is much different from its predecessor; mb the speeches are softer, but those are just an anodyne for the duped anyway.

Letters to the usual address...

Regarding the article: Great idea. We need those in the west on a large scale. Put an end to FIAT currencies right smartly that would, and bring on an new era of real money. Middle class could start rebuilding wealth again, after the last 40 years of having it slowly boiled off while they lay on their backs at the bottom of the pond.



sondog's picture

Dude I think you need to puff one and relax. The original point is that where they are making gold vending machines, America is making pot machines. This is anectdotally indicitative of how lazy many Americans are and where America's attention is. Seriously pot and gay marriage should not absorb 90% of what little intelligent thought is left in America. And I'm not saying I'm against either of those.

GoinFawr's picture

"The original point is that where they are making gold vending machines, America is making pot machines. This is anectdotally indicitative of how lazy many Americans are and where America's attention is"

Bah, perpetuating false stereotypes is never commendable. Unless maybe its at least funny, which BillyS wasn't.

"90%", eh? Where you getting your info. anyway? I agree with the Gay Marriage thing being fairly low priority, but that is just my opinion, I am sure there are many who can point out some very important inferences to be drawn from its denial.

On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody has had their life absolutely ruined by unjust criminal record/incarceration from trying to get married to her girlfriend (at least it can't be near as many as it has been for the mary jane advocates). So I guess I don't just lump those two together in importance like you have.


And I addressed the Gold ATM point by expressing my support for their incursion into the NA market.



WilliamShatner's picture

I guess you can say that those issues absorb our attention if you assume that the intelligent people actually get their news from the mainstream media.

I don't.  The MSM is a tool of the power elite to keep us distracted from the real issues of the day.

I remember when Yahoo News used to actually cover important topics and feature them on the Yahoo homepage.  Now it's all celebrity based fluff and social networking nonsense.

Utter rubbish, as Alan Watt would say.

Don't get me wrong, the important issues are covered by the MSM but they are usually lightly covered and buried under a pile of meaningless distractions.

You have to go to sites like Zero Hedge to get the real news of the day.

Al Huxley's picture

Did you get burned by Bre-X Leo?

Leo Kolivakis's picture

No, but I did bend over and grab my ankles while Whoretel (Nortel) f*cked me real good.

akak's picture

A pose that you seem to repeatedly enjoy --- and insist that everyone else willing accept as well.

Jack H Barnes's picture

Leo, do try to roll this into what ever it is your smoking...

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Yes, I too long for a world where there is no debt or credit, and everything is based on gold (not!). Listen here you gold weenies, you're going to get smoked so hard when the world keeps moving forward and risk premia come back down to earth. Bring back your chart at the end of the year.

akak's picture

Baaaaa!  Baaaaaa!  Baaaaaa!

Really, Leo, are you a trader or a comedian?

Jack H Barnes's picture


Pull up a chart of the S&P for the last 10 years...

Pull up a chart of Gold for the same 10 years...

Now thats a real BITCH, aint it?

Before you get all excited about saying, thats near the bottom of Gold Market, and near the TOP of the SPX, here is a graphic of the last 5  years.  Which, is a reasonable look back, wouldn't you say? So, tell me all about those great equity gains during your career. 

Here is a comparison of the GC Vs S&P for the last 5 years...

It appears to me, you have been fighting the tape for a good decade now...


Here is Beer to your patron saint,


JW n FL's picture


                  Buy High to sell Higher? orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr? the lights are going out? whats your reasoning? for the purchase of Gold... and I ain't Leo, so be fore warned... Idiot.


Sincerely, JW

Jack H Barnes's picture



By way of explaination of my rational for being long GC and continuing to be bullish for additional price increases over the next medium term.  Ratio's stay the same over time, historically, between long term actual prices. 

I remember when a $1 (silver) dollar coin would buy 5 gallons of premum gasoline.  Today, that same coin has enough purchasing power to buy 5+ gallons of supreme gas.  The only aspect that has *really* changed over the years, was the fiat ratios between silver & gasoline.  Gasoline has gone from 20 cents per gallon to around $3.20 per gallon.  The oz of silver hasn't changed in size or weight during that time. 

You can do the same type of historical view of land prices in Oz of gold per acre for farm land.  Very little has changed in that ratio in the last thousand of years or so.  That acre still costs on average about 4 oz of gold, if its productive dirt.

So, if the whole game is just a timing one, which it is, in my opinion... PM's will have an invisible hand pushing them to higher prices, as long as the (FED) Fiat currencys are printing up new cash for their ever growing deficits. 

Once you see soveriegn risk come in, and a stabilization of economys start to break out, PMs will become an investment to unwind slowly. These cycles typically last around 1 full generation, so in easy terms, we are about 10 years into a 16-20 year bull market in PMs.

So yes its buy high, sell higher, until it isn't. 

Disclosure: I happen to be long both physical refined, but also physical ore reserves, unlevered.  I trade paper metals in the futures market.  I expect a blow off top in GC around 2012 - 2013 with back and forth after that for a while, until a second top is formed and the ride down again in some new currency.  I expect that the Euro cracks and is not in the form we know it today, with in 18 months or so.

tmosley's picture

You wanna bet a gold eagle on it?

If you do, go to and PM me (same name).

One year from today (ie May 13th, 2011), you will exchange one American Gold Eagle (you can buy it at any time you like) for the price of one AGE from APMEX, including shipping (US$1320.40).

I leave this bet open to one person at a time (usually a paperbug troll, but in this case just a paperbug), and the last fellow recently conceded (though he never took the bet, he did admit that I was right).

Since I am so certain that I am correct, I will allow you to accept the bet any time up until two months prior to the expiration of the terms (ie March 13th, 2011).