There are a huge range of vending machines out there. Some of the most unusual ones are those from Japan which deliver anything from eggs, umbrellas, flowers, batteries, sneakers and even live lobsters to time pressed shoppers!

Former Miss India Ankita Shorey at Girantali Gems Vending Machine inauguration
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Add jewelry to the vending machine world's list! Soon you might encounter them in hotel lobbies, airports, malls and in professional office buildings.

The idea behind these machines is to take advantage of impulse buyers much the same way as people succumb to that naughty chocolate candy bar.  Forgetful and desperate men in search of a last minute jewelry purchase just before Valentine's Day or Mother's Day are also the target market.

Gitanjali Gems of India  introduced the world's first jewelry vending machine late last year. These offer a range of 36 gold and diamond jewelry designs which cost up to $600.

Why India?  Sanjeev Agarwal, the CEO of the company explains, “It has a particular significance in India, where usually such items are purchased as tokens to observe traditions on auspicious days." That's the reason why their second machine was installed last month in Mumbai's Shree Siddivinayak Temple. Worshipers could conveniently buy an auspicious piece of jewelry or make a temple offering with it.

Warren Buffett and the Precious Express Vending Machine

Zoom over to the USA, the Richline Group (Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary; CEO is Warren Buffett, one of the world's wealthiest men) just introduced the Precious Express vending machine in Omaha. Distribution will begin in the fall.

Each of these jewelry vending machine can stock up to 144 different items with price points from $50-$150.  Unlike India, these will initially be located in high volume jewelry stores.
Mark Hanna, Richline's chief marketing officer said, “I think in the future it could have applications in airports and professional office buildings. But we don’t sell to the consumer and I think it needs the credibility of a good jewelry retailer with it.”   That's an excellent point because the vending machine could well be filled with sub-par products.

Would you buy from a jewelry vending machine? 

I would, for good quality standard items, under certain circumstances.  I once forgot my earrings while on a trip.  I was grateful I could buy an inexpensive pair of sterling silver hoops at a small stall in a mall.

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