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United News


July, 2013

We welcome you to this edition of United News.  In the industry these days, we are seeing upswings in precious metal activity which is a good forecast for things to come.  This trend is good news for everyone in the industry as we are also seeing an increase in jewelry manufacturing within the United States.  Refining continues to be strong in spite of the lower precious metal markets.

Please review our latest edition of United News. If you have any questions on any issue as it relates to the industry, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to serve your Precious Metals needs.

Vinny Guadagna Thank you,

Vincent Guadagna
Vinny Guadagna
President and CEO

In this issue of United News …

Sacrificing Accuracy for Expediency

Is your gold being settled on an X-ray Fluorescence or is it settled using a Fire Assay?  You may think it really isn't that big of a difference but here are some facts for you to compare:

First things first - THE MELT

Your gold scrap should be melted in an induction melter or furnace and stirred until the metal is homogenous.  This means the molten metal has equal parts of gold, silver, etc. in all places and parts.  A pin sample is then pulled from the homogenous melt for analysis.

X-RAY FLUORESCENCE is a non-destructive method of testing your gold.  It's accurate to about 2 to 5 parts per 1,000, dependent on the exact machine, the standards utilized, the power the equipment generates and a number of other factors.  This process takes about 3-5 minutes.  Your pin sample should be flattened to provide the spectrometer a flat surface on which to test.  Keeping your sample round may affect your results.   X-Ray Fluorescence assay IS NOT AS ACCURATE as a fire-assay but depending on the spectrometer used, can achieve results of within 10 parts per thousand. For example with a true 14K GOLD ASSAY 58.33, your assay using X-Ray Fluorescence could be 58.28-58.38

Fire AssayFIRE ASSAY (cupellation) is categorized as the most "elaborately accurate, but totally destructive" method of testing precious metals.  Fire assays are accurate on gold metal to 1 part in 10,000.  This process takes anywhere from 6-8 hours to be completed depending on the number of samples processed at a time.  Although time consuming, fire assays are the accepted standard utilized for testing and measuring gold content and other precious metals at major refineries and gold mining companies around the world. For example with a true 14K GOLD ASSAY 58.33, your assay using a Fire Assay could be 58.32-58.34

Ultimately, the difference between the two is based on this simple statement:  The results of an X-ray Fluorescence are based on instrumentation whereas a Fire Assay's results are based on the weight of the sample metal being tested.  It's important to note that not all spectrometers are created alike nor will they generate identical results.  That being said, fire assays are also subject to human error which is why we at United conduct three fire assays on every sample we test.   Take the time to guarantee your results (and profits) with the most trusted and globally accepted method for the analysis of precious metals, Fire Assay.

Helpful Hints for Gold and Silver Soldering

FITTING: Great care should be taken in the fitting of pieces to be joined.  Make sure the surfaces are smooth, even, free of burrs and fit tightly.  This will assure a strong neat joint requiring less finishing.  Remember, SOLDER WILL NOT FILL GAPS.

SolderingCLEANING: All parts being soldered must be thoroughly cleaned.  The joint areas and solder must be clean, free of oxidation, oil, and grease, polishing residue or tape adhesive.

PROPER SUPPORT: Clamps or jigs should be used to align and hold the objects being soldered.  This will help prevent movement or shifting of the objects during the soldering process.

FLUXING:  The entire object should be given a fire coat of boric acid and alcohol with a brush and gently heated to provide a protective fire coat. The joint areas should be well coated with solder flux to keep the joint areas free from oxidation. Add more flux if needed during soldering.

HEATING: Use a slightly reducing flame (softer flame) on your torch.  Let the heat of the objects being joined flow the solder.  Don't try to force the solder to flow with the torch flame as this often results in pitting or a poor quality joint.  It's best to keep the torch moving over the joint area to provide an even heat.  It's best not to use micro torches for ring sizing as the intense flame often overheats the joint. Remember, SOLDER FLOWS TOWARD HEAT.

CLEANING & PICKLING: Flux residues can be removed in hot water.  Oxidation can be removed in a pickle solution.  Hot "Sparex" safety pickle is the most commonly used pickle solution and effectively removes surface oxides.  A 10% to 20% sulfuric acid or 30% to 50% phosphoric acid can also be used.

You will get better results with your soldering if you do pay attention to the issues mentioned above. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to "Doc" here at United - doc@unitedpmr.com.

Did You Know?

  • For all iPhone and Android users, you can find the United App available in each phone's corresponding store. The United App is geared towards product as well as refining customers.  Other useful tools are available in this app as well. Be sure to check it out.

  • Conflict-Free GoldUnited is now proud to be certified as a Conflict Free Gold by E.I.C.C. (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition). United is one of only 13 companies worldwide who have earned this certification, paving the way for concern over environmental issues of our world.

  • United is expanding. We have started our building expansion to better serve our customers.
    We are planning on additional Research and Development space for the purpose of creating new innovative solutions.

Precious Metal Spot Prices

  Bid Change
Gold $1,886.33 -$10.88/-0.57%
Silver $23.78 -$0.40/-1.64%
Platinum $874.94 -$9.20/-1.04%
Palladium $2,320.73 +$8.68/+0.37%
Gold 2020-09-30 6:53 AM
Bid/Ask $1,886.33/$1,887.06
High/Low $1,899.44/$1,881.44
Change -$10.88/-0.57%
Silver 2020-09-30 6:53 AM
Bid/Ask $23.78/$23.80
High/Low $24.31/$23.59
Change -$0.40/-1.64%
Platinum 2020-09-30 6:53 AM
Bid/Ask $874.94/$877.56
High/Low $889.30/$870.03
Change -$9.20/-1.04%
Palladium 2020-09-30 6:53 AM
Bid/Ask $2,320.73/$2,331.91
High/Low $2,333.56/$2,301.96
Change +$8.68/+0.37%

+ Show detail

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

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