If you're a shopper looking for something sparkly to put under the Christmas tree, you could skip the jewelry and just go for the gold.
The gold-leaf-covered machine at Boca Raton's Town Center Mall sits outside a gourmet chocolate store and works just like the two cash ATMs beside it. Shoppers insert cash or credit cards and use a computer touch-screen to choose the weight and style of gold. The machine spits out the gold in a classy black box with a tamper-proof seal.
Each machine, manufactured in Germany, carries about 320 pieces of different-sized bars and coins. Prices are refigured automatically every 10 minutes to reflect market fluctuations. On Friday, a two-gram piece cost about $122, including packaging, certification and a 5 percent markup. An ounce cost about $1,442.