We’ve all seen the infomercials for “Cash 4 Gold,” the service that gives customers cash for mailing in their gold. What we haven’t seen — until now — was an ATM that could take cash and instantly spit out gold.

That’s where the “Gold to Go” machine comes in.

Gold to Go is an ATM that debuted last week at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. When you put in money, it dispenses gold coins and bars of matching value.

Funny concept, serious reasoning

As comical as the idea of a cash-for-gold machine sounds at first, it actually makes sense.

In wake of the U.S. financial crisis and recent events in Greece, the global economy is exceptionally volatile. But gold is a relatively steady commodity.

As the U.S. Federal Reserve and European banks print more and more money to fight against the financial downturn, gold prices could rise. At least that’s what Gold to Go creator Thomas Geissler is banking on.

The machine updates its prices every 10 minutes to reflect market fluctuations, and contains 24-carat bars and custom-engraved coins. The largest available piece of gold is 10 grams.

Machine protected like ‘armored vehicle’

If run-of-the-mill, cash-dispensing ATMs make enticing targets for thieves, machines full of gold would definitely present a security worry. The contents of each Gold to Go machine will certainly be worth more than the contents of a standard ATM: Gold is currently worth more than $1,230 per ounce.

Geissler said the machines would be completely secure, telling The New York Times each machine will “be outfitted like an armored vehicle.”

The company, TG-Gold-Super-Mrkt, is planning to eventually install 500 machines around the world. Clients would buy the machines for about $28,000 a piece and then pay TG-Gold service charges.

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