India Gets Its First Gold and Diamond Studded Jewels ATM in Mumbai
Not content with bullion alone, a new ATM in Mumbai also spits out diamond jewellery too
MUMBAI - -An ATM that dispenses gold, silver and twinkling diamonds has become the talk of the town in Mumbai. An Indian company has launched what it says is the world's first machine that dispenses not just gold and silver coins but diamond studded jewellery too.
Though gold vending machines have been popping up all over the world, the first ever in India dispenses gold chains adorned with diamonds to slake the thirst of Indian consumers who are fond of the yellow metal.
Designed similarly to a standard ATM, which is used to dispense cash, the machine dispenses gold and silver bar coins, pendants with religious motifs as well as a range of diamond studded jewellery.
Gold is a popular investment in India, and the Gitanjali Group that launched the gold and diamond automatic teller machine at a central Mumbai shopping mall is all set to unveil many more in the coming months. Places which record high consumer foot falls such as premium shopping malls, airports and temples would soon have these ATMs, an official said.
The official added, ``The idea is to have some machines at famous temples dotted around the country and especially at the centrally located temple which is a famous landmark in the city of Mumbai. Devout Indians, who would like to make a gold offering, could use the facility. They can also be used for other occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or even on Valentine's Day, when one has forgotten to buy a gift for a loved one.''
The Gitanjali Group, touted as the world's biggest integrated manufacturer of branded jewellery, launched the machine at a luxury shopping mall in Mumbai and said that it already served a ``substantial number of customers.'' The company hopes to roll out 75 more of these ATMs across the country.
"The machine is a first of its kind anywhere in the world and will further revolutionise the processes by which precious metals and diamond jewellery is bought,'' said Gitanjali Export Corporation chief executive Sanjeev Agarwal.
The ATM offers customers the choice of up to 36 products of varying sizes, designs and prices, from smaller items costing $20 to larger ones priced at $600. Payment is either through the credit or debit card or by depositing cash in the teller point.
The company said in a statement that the machine was ``ideally suited for last minute purchases on auspicious occasions and for gifting purposes''.
Touted as a one stop shop for buying medallions, gold and silver coins and diamond jewellery, it currently offers everything from gold coins etched with an image of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, to diamond studded pendants in the shape of a swastika, which in India is an ancient religious symbol of unity..
High on convenience, this new retailing format has got many competitors in the bullion industry thinking of rolling out similar ATMs. India bought 540 tonnes of gold in the first half of 2011, up 21% from the same period last year, according to the World Gold Council.
The ATM is another way to satisfy the surging demand for gold in a country where demand grew 25% last year to 963.1 tonnes, reaffirming India as a key driver of global demand. As observers note, Indian demand for gold will be driven by savings and real income levels and not by price.