New York Times

New York Times

Press B3 to Be Mine (With a Vending-Machine Engagement Ring)

Read Original Article by Alyson Krueger

When they’re ready to propose, most people typically head to a jewelry store where they can take the time to peruse the various stones and settings. But there are much quicker (not to mention quirkier) options available: vending machines.

Last year a hotel in London began offering vending machines with engagement rings. And over Labor Day weekend, the owners of New York’s Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer, opened the Vend in the concourse, one floor below where the annual Christmas tree sits. That room contains six elaborately stocked vending machines, one of which contains a diamond engagement ring.

The New York machines are stocked with shelves of pretzels, kale chips, Red Bull drinks and Kombucha tea. With the swipe of a credit card, you can also buy sunscreen, toothbrushes and stain-rescue kits. (Among the highest-selling items: a piñata filled with undisclosed surprises and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg bobblehead doll.)

For $800, a diamond awaits, at the Vend in the concourse at New York’s Rockefeller Center.
Credit...Tishman Speyer
The engagement ring (size 6.25) is in the fourth machine in the B3 slot, almost hidden among the more colorful gifts. Made by Fitzgerald Jewelry of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it features a yellow rose-cut diamond surrounded by gray-colored diamonds set in 14-karat gold band with matte finish. It costs $800 before tax.
EB Kelly, the managing director of Tishman Speyer, says the ring is there for couples who might get swept off their feet by the romance of the place. “You can easily imagine the person who comes in and is having this amazing moment,” she said.

Ms. Kelly jokingly added that you could almost pull off an entire wedding with items from the vending machines. Grooms can wear the Duncan Quinn cuff links ($525) and a necktie ($285). Brides can carry a dried bouquet that stays fragrant for three years ($25). Photos can be taken with a Polaroid camera ($100). The machine even sells Polaroid film in color or black and white ($17 each).

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