Vintage Vending #7: Gemstones!

Vintage Vending continues, with ROCKS. This is not going to be my most popular review.

I ain’t gonna front. I love this. I love, love, love this. Polished stones always thrill me, even when they’re presented as tacky jewelry. I would’ve been all over these prizes as a kid, and probably still now.

I’m immediately struck by how high-end they are, at least in comparison to most other vending machine prizes. I could see any of these things in a museum gift shop, and I’d expect to pay more than five bucks for some of them. That would be too much, but I don’t have a say in their prices.

With the known prizes being so good, there must’ve been a hundred unseen duds hiding in the machine. Of course, this does raise the question of what could be lower on the gemstone totem pole than a half-inch flawed quartz wrapped in a five-cent bead cap. I don’t have answers.

Viewed from just the right angle, the teaser card looks like a raceway, filled with speeding rocks that leave trails of metal and string in their collective wake. But good luck finding that angle.

The brunt of the prizes are “single rock” necklaces, but the real chasers are those little jars of tiny-sized stones. The fact that I own four of them makes me feel like a very rich man. They look expensive, and if I ever buy a hamster and want to insist that he collects rocks, I’ll put one in his tank.

They must’ve been impossible to get. I could imagine certain stores selling those for eight bucks a pop. This was a fifty-cent machine, but you’d still be ahead even if it took ten tries. At least, that would be your argument when pitching to The Nearest Person With Quarters. Only a fool wouldn’t invest.

In a quiet way, these may be my favorite prizes of the Vintage Vending series so far. I’m a sucker for shiny rocks, what with their gleam, and their ability to turn positive energy into physical results. I award these gemstones 9 out of 10 funny items.

Also, there’s a new feature up today. Go check it out!