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Diamond, gold ATM unveiled in India

Raima Sen
Bollywood actress Raima Sen poses with an example of what can come out of India's new diamond- and gold-dispensing ATM machine during its unveiling in Mumbai on October 22, 2011. Getty Images

Let's say, for the sake of argument, you're out one night drinking with your buddies, and you realize you forgot your anniversary. It's late, and you can plausibly say you stayed after hours at work, but getting your special someone that diamond pendant they've been hankering for probably seems impossible.

Not anymore.

The Gitanjali Group of India - self-described as the "world's largest integrated conglomerate of diamonds, jewelry and lifestyle brands" - seems intent on proving that the ever-growing class of wealthy Indians also have an insatiable appetite for outlandish luxury goods. Over the weekend, they unveiled what is most likely the world's first diamond- and gold-dispensing ATM in Mumbai.

There were already reports earlier this year of a public, gold-dispensing ATM machine in China. Although the effort by a gold retailer there has had some recent "teething troubles" during its launch, there are supposedly plans to have 2,000 of them placed throughout the world's most populous country in the next few years.

The diamond ATM machine in India, according to its developers, is "designed like an ATM, the machine however will dispense gold and silver bars coins, pendants with religious motifs; as well as a range of diamond studded jewellery, making it the first of its kind anywhere in the world. High on convenience, this new retailing format will be ideally suited for last minute purchases on auspicious occasions and for gifting, providing instant gratification to the purchaser."

The company claims there will be dozens of options for purchase using your debit or credit cards, as well as cash. Although details are vague, Gitanjali has announced plans for several more machines in "places with high consumer footfalls."

If the gold- and diamond-dispensing machines show success in Asia, it is safe to assume they will spread the world-over before long.

Delinquent spouses everywhere rejoice.

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