Gold Bar Vending Machines Gain Popularity Amid Rising Inflation

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Alyssa Blakemore Contributor
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Consumers in South Korea can now access gold bars in vending machines, as demand for the commodity rises amid ongoing global inflation.

Sales of gold bars at GS Retail convenience stores in South Korea reached $19 million over a nine-month span that ended in May, United Press International reported Friday, citing the retailer.

Gold bar dispensing vending machines were added at five convenience stores last September with five size offerings ranging from .13 ounces to 1.3 ounces, UPI reported. Prices change daily to match the international value of gold, according to the outlet. (RELATED: NYC Unveils Vending Machines Stocked With Crack Pipes, Safe Sex Kits: REPORT)

Gold bars are displayed at Shinhan Bank in Seoul on 09 January 2004. Gold prices hit 544.60 dollars per ounce on January 09, 2006, the highest level since January 1981, owing to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and reports that China may increase its reserves of the metal. “Geopolitical tensions continue to provide reasons to be positive on gold, with deteriorating situations in both Iran and Iraq, while the possibility of Israels Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not returning to office causes concerns over the Middle East peace progress,” said Barclays Capital analyst Yingxi Yu. (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

The smallest size at .13 ounces ranks highest in popularity among buyers, with the current price sitting at around $225, a GS retail representative told UPI News Korea.

“People in their 20s and 30s appear to be the main buyers, purchasing physical gold as an investment vehicle, especially in times such as these, when its value is continuing to rise,” he said.

Gold’s recent rise in popularity stems from persistent global inflation and follows the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse earlier this year, UPI noted. SVB’s downfall marked the second-biggest bank failure in U.S. history, Daily Caller co-founder and former Fox host Tucker Carlson noted in March.

Experts suggest gold’s value may continue to rise as inflation remains steady, according to CBS News.