Welcome to our April edition of United News. In spite of the higher gold prices, product sales have been on the up-swing possibly indicating a gradual return of consumer confidence in the economy. Refining continues to be steady which may be due to the higher gold markets along with an increase in jewelry manufacturing.
We invite you to stop by our booth #62049 at this year's JCK Las Vegas Show. Preview some of our newest formulations, speak with our representatives about how United can help your business through refining and precious metal recovery from your byproducts.
President and CEO
In this issue of United News …
"Is Your Money Going Down the Drain?"
Did you know that as a bench jeweler, every time you wash your hands, you're literally letting precious metals escape down the drain? While polishing or working with jewelry during the fabrication process, tiny particles of gold are released and often find themselves on the bench and more importantly, on your hands. While it may seem an insignificant amount, these tiny particles add up and eventually can be accumulated and sent in for refining.
United offers a series of sink traps for every size sink. The smallest unit available is the S200 with a half-gallon capacity. This unit fits under any sink, including smaller sinks in kitchen and bathroom areas. Looking for something a little bigger for your work area? United offers the S300 with a capacity of 1.2 gallons. This unit still fits under most sinks and offers great filtration to capture even the smallest of particles.
Larger factories with more employees often choose a larger unit such as the S350 with a 5.3 gallon capacity, the S450 with a 10 gallon capacity or the largest S650 with a 15-gallon capacity. These units are designed for greater volumes of water flowing through and are very effective in capturing escaping particles through a multi-compartment filtration system.
If you're interested in more information about United's sink traps and how they can help you save money, contact United toll free at 1-800-999-FINE.
"A Common Cause of Under-Karated Scrap"
Many times, jewelers will send in pieces for assay verification. We often find that in some cases, the consistency of the karating varies in different spots on a specific piece. More often than not, this is a result of a repair which was done using a lower karat solder.
United offers solders which are plumb karated as well as repair solders (which are typically lower karated). The plumb solders are intended for manufacturers to use while creating new pieces. These solders are precisely karated so that they match the piece being soldered.
Repair solders are meant for jewelers to do just that – repairs. Often times, jewelers will use these to size or fix older pieces of jewelry. They offer the same benefits as plumb solders but are typically about two karats below plumb. In other words, a 14K repair solder is actually 12K.
When scrap jewelry is sent in, many times jewelers and gold buyers alike question why their 14K is not plumb. As jewelers we know that now-a-days, even if it's stamped Italian 750 – that doesn't necessarily mean it's plumb 18K.
Solder plays a vital role in our industry. It allows jewelers and manufacturers alike to create and repair beautiful pieces of jewelry for consumers. In addition to traditional solders, United also offers Laser Wire for Soldering as well as solder alloys for making your own solder.
To place an order for United's cadmium-free solders or solder alloys, contact your account representative today at 1-800-999-FINE.
GOLD & SILVER SOLDERING – A quick how to guide
SOLDER SELECTION – For ring sizing, it's best to use a hard flow solder for the strongest joint. Hard flow plumb gold solders or Hard flow silver solders are the best choice for sizing. The Medium flow solders are good for general repairs and easy flows are used for delicate work.
CLEANING – All parts being soldered should be thoroughly cleaned. The joint areas and solder must be clean and free of oxidation, oil, grease and polishing compound. If the joint area has a high polish finish, it is helpful to roughen the surface slightly.
FITTING – Make sure all surfaces being joined are smooth, even, free of burrs and fit tightly. This will assure a strong, neat joint requiring less finishing. Always remember," solder will not fill gaps."
PROPER SUPPORT – Clamps or jigs should be used to align and hold the objects being soldered. This will help prevent movement or shifting of pieces during soldering and free up your hands for the torch combined with proper solder placement.
FLUXING – The entire object being soldered should be given a protective fire coat of boric acid and alcohol. The joint areas should be well coated with solder flux. The liquid fluxes may burn away fast during soldering and additional flux should added to keep the joint area protected. Paste fluxes may provide better protection on some jobs as they provide a thicker coating.
HEATING – Use a slightly reducing (softer) flame for gold and silver alloys. Larger torches are better for ring sizing and the micro torches should be reserved for delicate jobs as they have small intense flames. Always let the heat of the object flow the solder, don't try to force the solder to flow with the torch flame as this usually results in pitting from oxidized joints. Remember," solder flows toward heat."
CLEAN-UP & PICKLING – Flux residues can be removed in hot water, a brush can be used to speed removal. Oxidation can be removed in a pickle solution, hot solutions will work faster than cold solutions. Hot "Sparex" (sodium bisulfate) safety pickle solution is the most commonly used.
"How Social Media is Affecting the Industry"
In the digital age of wearables and hand-held devices, social media has become a way of life. On average, Americans spend upwards of 4.7 hours on their devices a day (more than half of the average workday). Accordingly, advertisers have had to find new ways of reaching these potential consumers.
The jewelry industry is no exception…
Our first major project for reaching customer on the go was the development of the United mobile app. Through the app, customers are able to log in and browse our product catalog, calculate the value of a scrap lot, schedule a refining pick up, chat online with a sales representative, and so much more. This tool proved extremely useful to our customers – refining, products and analytical alike. From the app, users are also able to connect to our social media pages.
If you browse on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you'll surely find pages for most, if not all of the industry giants. Social media allows you to connect with your consumers in a cost-effective method. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of the other platforms, customers can follow you and see what's going on in the industry.
United uses various social media platforms. We use of Facebook page to communicate with our customers and maintain them informed. Our daily commentary is available each day with a recap of the day's biggest news and market shifting events. Customers will also send us pics or videos via our pages which we then review, approve and repost. Doing this allows customers to feel like they're contributing and also provides validation for the company through virtual testimonials.
Many other platforms are available such as YouTube which allows companies to post videos. Many companies in our industry have utilized this valuable tool for D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) videos and take consumers through a step-by-step process of karating, mixing, casting, etc. United launched its YouTube channel last year with great videos about United. Now in 2016, we are launching new videos about processes and specific products and services offered at United PMR. Click on the link to see our latest video on Dry Refining.
As the market continues to be influenced by technological advances, so to shall the jewelry industry continue to adapt to reach existing and new consumers alike. At United, we began developing our social media program a few years back, initially with these quarterly newsletters which are available on our website and through email distribution as well as on our social media pages. We've evolved to include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.
For more information on our social media and marketing programs, contact our marketing team via email at email@example.com.