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United News


July, 2012

Summertime brings many things, and in the precious metals area, this period of time brings us dynamic price fluctuations and markets driven by this instability.

Please let us know if you see anything here that raises questions, concerns, or possibilities for your world. We are here to serve.

Vinny Guadagna Thank you,

Vincent Guadagna
Vinny Guadagna
President and CEO

In this issue of United News …

Causes of Karat Variations in Gold Alloys

There are a number of causes for the karat variations. To review some of these may be helpful and aid you in your pursuit of product quality.

  • Calculation Errors - Mathematical errors in calculation of the amount of gold and master alloy needed to make a specific karat gold.  Double check your figures before melting to be sure they are correct.
  • Weighing Errors - Always check the scale and zero it out before weighing.  Tare weights can be left on the scale causing weighing problems.  Always use the same scale for weighing the gold and master alloy.
  • Scale Calibration - Scales should be calibrated daily with a master weight.  It is wise to purchase a service contact for your scales to keep them accurate and functioning properly.  A malfunctioning scale can be very costly to your business reputation if under-karating results.
  • Fine Gold Purity - If lower purity gold is used to make karat gold jewelry, adjustments must be made in calculations to allow for the lower purity.
  • Mixed Karat - Be sure to keep your gold casting scrap of different karats in separate marked containers to avoid mix up in karats when reusing the gold casting scrap.  (This is a very common problem and main cause of under-karating).
  • Inadequate Mixing During Melting - The force of gravity can cause the gold to be richer in the molten gold alloy at the bottom of the crucible during the melting process.  The molten gold alloys should be mixed well before pouring to prevent gravity separation.  Pre-alloying the gold and master alloy with a good mixing action is helpful in obtaining a homogeneous mix.
  • Theft - Dishonest employees have been known to remove fine gold from weighed karat gold mixes and replace the gold with master alloy before the material is melted.  Proper security procedures and record keeping can help prevent this problem.

Samples of finished gold articles should be submitted for analysis on a regular basis to assure your manufacturing processes are making a legal karat gold product.

Pink gold ringIncreasing Demand for Pink Gold Jewelry

The requests for pink colored jewelry continues to increase, creating a greater demand for our premium line of pink master alloys.  Our # 540 Pink Alloy has been specially formulated to provide excellent casting characteristics in 10K to 14K and a distinct color contrast when combined with colors such as yellow or green.  Please call our sales and technical staff for additional information on our pink products.

Sterling Silver Spring Alloy

Softness is one of the major challenges of silver jewelry so that is why our S95 spring hard alloy has been very successful.  Jewelry articles such as tongues, clips and bracelets will provide the required spring action with proper heat treatment in the silver metal.  This alloy provides a great white color, excellent tarnish resistance and high fluidity.  Please call our sales and technical staff for further information on the S95 master alloy for silver.

Sampling Gold and Silver Scrap for Assay and Refining

The best and most accurate method of taking a representative sample for assaying and refining of your gold and silver scrap metal is taking a molten pin sample.  This requires melting the precious metal scrap at a temperature of 2100F, stirring the molten metal well with a stirring rod, inserting a thin Pyrex glass tube with a light vacuum and pulling a sample before pouring your ingot.  The sample pin is then submitted for assay and/or analysis. 

Taking drill samples on cast ingots of precious metals usually results in much more sample variations in precious metal content.  The cast ingots may have some areas of segregation on solidification especially on higher copper content alloys.  While this might be OK for a ballpark estimate, it proves to be too inaccurate for refining settlement.

PlatinetProducts and Services to Consider

  • Our Platinet (Sterling Silver with Platinum) was a very hot item at the J.C.K. Las Vegas show because the specific gravity (weight) of the pieces made with this product are comparable to 10K white gold and the color is exceptional.  Please call our sales department for additional benefits on the Platinet.
  • Many jewelry stores are currently buying gold scrap to help subsidize their business and for many of them, this is a  new venture. Please visit our website and click on refining services so you can view our gold scrap calculator, as you will find this information very helpful when purchasing gold scrap.

Precious Metal Spot Prices

  Bid Change
Gold $1,880.54 +$19.62/+1.05%
Silver $23.69 +$0.80/+3.50%
Platinum $883.94 +$35.28/+4.15%
Palladium $2,262.36 +$46.46/+2.09%
Gold 2020-09-28 3:15 PM
Bid/Ask $1,880.54/$1,881.33
High/Low $1,883.08/$1,848.73
Change +$19.62/+1.05%
Silver 2020-09-28 3:15 PM
Bid/Ask $23.69/$23.71
High/Low $23.70/$22.52
Change +$0.80/+3.50%
Platinum 2020-09-28 3:15 PM
Bid/Ask $883.94/$885.93
High/Low $889.29/$849.03
Change +$35.28/+4.15%
Palladium 2020-09-28 3:15 PM
Bid/Ask $2,262.36/$2,270.76
High/Low $2,276.38/$2,207.31
Change +$46.46/+2.09%

+ Show detail

Prices shown are for reference only. Please contact our trading desk for accurate, up-to-the-minute pricing.

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