Fool’s gold

The good stuff - Flickr User BuillionVault

The good stuff - Flickr User BullionVault

It’s well known that in times of crisis, people fall back on the certainties of old. Among these is that gold is a good investment, for gold always holds its value far better than, say, real estate. The current recession is no different. Back in October there was a brief media hullabaloo about people buying up gold in droves, forming queues outside bullion merchants.

Now we are seeing something totally new. Indeed, there is no end to human ingenuity. While Japan has long led the pack in eccentric vending machines (purportedly used underwear being the most famous among many products available), in Germany a bright spark named Thomas Geissler has hit upon just what’s needed in these trying times: gold bullion vending machines! I’m kicking myself for not having come up with that one. According to the FT:

For €30 airport shoppers could buy a 1g wafer of gold, with a larger 10g bar priced on Tuesday at €245 and gold coins also on sale.

When the Financial Times bought the cheapest product it was dispensed in an oblong metal box labelled “My Golden Treasure”, with a certificate of authenticity signed by Mr Geissler but no receipt and the wrong change. Mr Geissler said he hoped to have a more advanced prototype available this month.

Still, I suppose spending your money on gold from a vending machine has to be a better investment plan than that of the woman who saved $1 million in her mattress, only for it to be thrown out by her daughter.