The First Gold Bar Vending Machine Was Located In?
Answer: Abu Dhabi
Japan might be known for the widest array of vending machine choices (the country has more vending machines per capita than anywhere on Earth), but there was one vending machine trend Japan was late on: gold bars.
Back in 2009, the TG Gold-SuperMarkt corporation began testing a prototype vending machine in Frankfurt, Germany that dispensed 1-gram pieces of gold. Based on its success, the first full-service gold-plated Gold to Go vending machine was placed in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi (later expanded to twenty locations around the world) and dispenses gold in 320 forms including solid bars and customized coins. The price, for the curious, is updated every 10 minutes via Internet connection to global gold markets.
Although at first glance the machines seem to be little more than a novelty, the company maintains that they are also a vehicle to encourage investments in gold and draw attention to the gold market.
Image courtesy of Guðmundur Ólafsson.