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Glittering ATM spits gold, not cash, in Fla.

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Shoppers looking for something sparkly to put under the Christmas tree can skip the jewelry and go straight to the source: an ATM that dispenses small shiny 24-carat gold bars and coins.

A German company installed the machine Friday at an upscale mall in Boca Raton, a South Florida paradise of palm trees, pink buildings and wealthy retirees.

The gold-leaf-covered Gold To Go machine at the Town Center Mall works much like a cash ATM. Buyers insert a credit card or cash and touch the screen to choose the weight and style they want. The machine spits out the gold in a classy black box with a tamper-proof seal.

Prices update automatically every 10 minutes to reflect market fluctuations. On Friday, a 2-gram (0.07-ounce) piece cost about $122, including the packaging, certification and a 5 percent markup. An ounce cost about $1,442.

Thomas Geissler, CEO of Ex Oriente Lux and inventor of the gold machines, says most buyers will be walk-ups drawn by the novelty. But he says the machines are also convenient for more serious investors looking to bypass buying at pawnshops or over the Internet.

Dave Jones, who brokered the deal to bring the machines to the United States, said they plan to install about 40 more at upscale malls and hotels around the country. He told Newsday his company had "a couple of different prospects" in the New York City area, including one in the Financial District. - AP

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