Spring is here, and the precious metal market continues to fluctuate widely. Specialty products such as our Palladium alloys and PlatiLite Sterling Silver grain have been selling well, indicating consumers are in search of substitutes for gold jewelry. Our refining department continues to stay busy in spite of the unpredictable metal markets.
We bring you this newsletter in hopes of sharing with you some things in the industry that can assist you in your pursuit of business. If you see anything here that brings questions, concerns, or possibilities to your world – please let us know. We are here to serve.
President and CEO
In this issue of United News …
Bullion – the Only Real Global Currency
Travel anywhere in the world and you'll find a number of different currencies. The value of these currencies including the US Dollar, Euro, Mexican Peso, British Pound, Swiss Franc, Chinese Yuan and so many other fluctuates from region to region. In fact, you can visit three banks on the same street in any given city and receive a different exchange rate at each location.
Are you looking for currency that is valued on a global market? Well look no further.
Precious metal bullion is the only global currency whose value isn't determined by its buyer but rather the global market. Prices are published daily by the LBMA and continue to trade around the clock on various global markets.
United offers a variety of bullion products including our 1 t/oz (as shown) and ½ t/oz gold bars, each stamped and certified with a purity of .9999 fine gold. Silver bars are also available in 10 t/oz bars for the smaller investor all the way up to 400 t/oz bars for larger investments.
Contact your account representative for additional options including kilo bars, fine gold grain and more. Investing in physical gold has never been easier. Call us today!
Length of Sprues in Jewelry Castings
A common source of casting defects is often the sprue system attached to feed the castings. Much has been written about the size, diameter and placement of the sprues, the length of the sprues has often been ignored.
The length of the sprue is often a problem in smaller casting operations with 1 or 2 castings attached to the sprue button. The defects associated with too short of a sprue are shrinkage porosity or cracking at the sprue junction area of the casting. The molten metal in the sprue button is pulling back on the casting during solidification causing this problem. The defect problem is more common on nickel base white gold and sterling silver with short sprues but may occur on other metals.
If you run across this type of problem be sure to check the length of the sprue on your castings. A ¼ inch sprue length is much too short. Keep in mind "Size matters".
International Spotlight – Meet Suwat Wongchailaisukul
For the past 20 years, United has maintained a strong market presence in Thailand thanks in large part to our agent, Mr. Suwat Wongchailaisukul. With ample experience in the industry, an extensive knowledge of the products and an honest and humble work ethic, it's no wonder customers in the region call him "Alloy Man." Suwat not only represents our products, but also provides service to customers in Thailand troubleshooting and training jewelers to properly use our metal. He is trusted and respected in the industry and we are proud to have him in our United family.
Suwat has twin boys and is a fan of the soft rock music. He has a thirst for knowledge and continuously seeks to learn more each day. He is diligent in his efforts which is why so many of our customers love him.
PlatiLite® Continues to Revolutionize the Industry
Our premium sterling silver products have, for the past few years, filled a need for jewelers who were looking for alternatives to gold but didn't want to settle for regular sterling silver.
United promptly developed Platinet® which offered jewelers and manufacturers a high-end yet cost effective alternative to regular sterling silver. Platinet® combined sterling silver with 6.2% platinum added in for color, hardness and added value.
After a year of success and due in part to the rising cost of metals, jewelers turned to United and asked for a more affordable alternative. Thus, in 2013 PlatiLite® was born and has, for the past year become one of our best-selling premium silvers second only to our ground-breaking formula of sterling silver with palladium, Silvadium®.
Today, PlatiLite® is used in the production of regular silver jewelry as well as high-end bridal lines sold throughout major retailers in the US and abroad. PlatiLite® is sterling silver .950 with 2% platinum making it more affordable but equally as lustrous and workable as its predecessor.
It is completely fire-scale-free, offers bright white color, has a hard surface which allows for a superior polishing luster, is heat-treatable to a high hardness of 90Hv-100Hv and is high fluidity allowing for stone-in-place castings. PlatiLite® can also be used for both casting and fabrication making it one of our most popular premium silver products.
Click here to preview some jewelry pieces in PlatiLite currently being sold at one retailer:
For pricing and more information, contact your account representative today!
Meet Mike Mikolay
Michael "Mike" Mikolay joined United's finance team in 2011 having worked in the Precious Metals Industry for over 30 years.
Mike began his career in the Banking Industry moving to the Precious Metals field in 1981 when he joined the trading department of Morgan Guaranty (now JP Morgan). He moved to Bank of Boston in 1987 to set up and run their trading department in their precious metals division. He was later recruited by Union Bank of Switzerland in New York and worked as their Chief Dealer until he returned to Bank of Boston in 1997. Mike left in 2010 as Head Trader on the physical desk at Sovereign Bank (now Santander).
Mike is currently a Board Member of the New England Chapter of the IPMI. Feel free to call him to discuss market trends or for more information about market buzz or rumors.
On a personal note: Though Mike was born in the Bronx, he now calls Rhode Island home. When not busy at work, he enjoys spending time with his family. Staying true to his roots, Mike is a die-hard Yankees fan.
Look for Mike's daily commentary on United's social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to call Mike at extension 103 for more information.