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United News


October, 2013

Welcome to this edition of United News. With the holiday season approaching, we have seen increased volume in master alloys and in Gold and Silver casting grain which forecasts a strong period across the jewelry industry. We have a great feeling about our industry today, and with that we are in the midst of a major expansion which ultimately allows us to better serve our customers.

If you have any questions about the content of this newsletter, or anything else for that matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to serve.

Vinny Guadagna Thank you,

Vincent Guadagna
Vinny Guadagna
President and CEO

In this issue of United News …

Refining 101...

Beware of False "Profits"

With the fluctuations in the gold market and the volume dropping for many buyers, competition among refiners to acquire new customers is at an all-time high.  More and more customers are bringing us offers from competitors that reflect very low refining charges.  But beware of false "profits."

Piggy BankIf you keep reading beyond the bold number (where they're hoping your attention remains focused), you'll run into what is best known as "hidden charges."  To offset that offer, small refiners and gold buying companies have to tack on some additional charges to cover costs.

A customer received an offer from a competitor to buy their gold at a lower refining charge.
After turning the page, the company began listing additional charges which included:

  1. Lot Charges with High Minimums;
  2. Excessive Assay Fee;
  3. Shipping Fees Deducted from Final Settlement;
  4. Elevated Wire Transfer Fees.

After doing the numbers, the difference on one lot we tested was roughly $10.

Fact! On average, the cost of refining precious metals is approximately .4 percent.

The bottom line, a low refining charge MUST include all the above listed additional charges in order to maintain profitability.

At United PMR, we offer our customers an all-inclusive charge and cover shipping costs for most lots.  We have considered the option of offering lowered refining charges with tacked on fees but ultimately, we prefer to be upfront with our customers and keep things the way they have been for over 25 years.  Our commitment to our customers is based on real profits, not false promises.

Hot New Trends...

United's All New GOLDIUM SERIES® Fills an Industry Need

With gold prices remaining relatively high and the demand for "gold" products at a lower price increasing, manufacturers turned to us for help.  In response to their woes, United developed our signature GOLDIUM SERIES®, a line of low-karat, ready to use casting grains available in 1K, 2K, 4K, 5K, 6K & 8K gold (both yellow & white).

Different that its competition (gold filled), this new and innovative line of low karat casting grain is made with a combination of Fine Gold, Silver and other tarnish resistant elements.  More and more manufacturers are turning to United for help with manufacturing low karat gold which helps to maintain quality (in that they are effectively still working with precious metals) and margins (offering their customers a better alternative to gold plated/filled metal).

After intensive research and development and months of successful client trials and usage, United is proud to bring our GOLDIUM SERIES® to center stage.  Here are just a few of the qualities of this amazing new product:

  • It's available in Ready-to-Use grain (no mixing necessary at your factory)
  • High Tarnish Resistance
  • Improved Hardness & Scratch Resistance
  • Fire Scale Free
  • Easy Workability for Stone in Place Casting
  • High Surface Luster & Gem-Stone Reflectance
  • All-Purpose (may be used for Casting and Fabrication!)
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Nickel and Palladium FREE Options for White Gold

Intrigued?  Call us and order a small sample today to see for yourself why so many people have turned to United's GOLDIUM SERIES®!  You'll be glad you did.

Technically Speaking...

Pickle Solutions for Jewelry Repair

There are 4 types of pickle solutions commonly used to remove oxidation from gold and silver jewelry after heating or soldering.  Most jewelers and professionals in the field tend to stick with just one but exploring all your options may benefit you and your production.  Exploring the differences between the four may prove beneficial for problem solving or troubleshooting different issues in your production.

  1. Helpful Tips"SPAREX # 2"(Sodium Bi-sulfate) - This is the safest and most commonly used pickle solution for jewelry.   It does not fume or cause acid burns and is safer to store than other chemicals.  Although it is a bit slower than acid solutions the Sodium Bi-sulfate solution removes surface oxidation very effectively.   The "Sparex # 2" dry powder is mixed 2 1/2 lbs. per gallon of water and used hot 160 to 185 degrees F in a pickle pot or crock-pot.  Water should be added to the solution periodically to replace water lost to evaporation.
  2. SULFURIC ACID 10% to 20% - Mixed with water (always add the acid to the water) is a very effective pickle solution for jewelry.   The solution is more effective when heated but it will fume.   Sulfuric acid can cause acid burns, holes in clothing and damage to iron or steel tools.   A somewhat lower temperature can be used to help prevent fuming.   Rubber gloves and safety glasses are recommended when using sulfuric acid pickle.
  3. PHOSPHORIC ACID (Clear Food Grade) 30% - 50% mixed with water (always add the acid to the water) is a very effective pickle solution for jewelry.  The solution is more effective when heated but it will fume.   Phosphoric acid can cause acid burns, holes in clothing and damage to iron or steel tools.  A somewhat lower temperature can be used to help prevent fuming.  Rubber gloves and safety glasses are recommended when using phosphoric acid pickle.
  4. CITRIC ACID (Food Grade) - A dry powder mixed about 2 + cups per gallon of water.   The solution is more effective when heated.  Pickling time will be slower than the Sparex or Mineral Acid pickles.  This is an organic acid and does not fume at the usual operating temperatures or cause acid burns or holes in clothing.   Many jewelers have tried Citric Acid pickles, found it was too slow and went back to Sparex.

All pickling solutions will require maintenance; water must be added periodically to replace water lost to evaporation.  Change the pickle solution when it becomes dirty, slows down or gets saturated with copper.  Not properly maintaining your pickle solution could land you in a pickle of your very own.


Getting to Know Us...

Meet "Ralf"

Rafael "Ralf" Amador works out of Florida and oversees our Hispanic Business Development efforts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Fluent in Spanish, Ralf has made enormous strides in bringing our products and refining services to these regions and travels frequently overseas to continue expanding our reach.

Ralf Amador

Ralf has a strong background in refining.  His knowledge in testing methods and customer service has added great value to not only United, but the customers who Ralf visits both domestically and abroad. 

In addition to his efforts overseas, Ralf also works domestically with the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) and travels across the country visiting pawnshops in an effort to help brokers maximize their profitability when it comes to precious metals.  Meet Ralf at any of the NPA expos including the upcoming Texas Association of Pawnbrokers (TAP) Convention Oct. 18-20 in Grapevine, Texas or at the California Pawnbrokers Association (CAPA) Expo Oct. 25-27 in Newport Beach, California.

While Ralf enjoys working with precious metals, on his off time he enjoys music and is an avid piano player having studied since the age of seven.  Music runs deep in his family and his six year-old daughter just started piano classes following in his musical steps.

Contact UsDid You Know?

  • United offers technical support for customers at no additional cost?  Our technical experts are standing by to help you with questions or troubleshooting your production issues.  Contact one of them today via phone at 1-716-683-8334 and ask for Doc or Ajit!  You can also contact technical support live via our online chat line.

  • United's mobile app gives customers the ability to request refining pickups, calculate the value of a scrap lot and even email in your lot information all from you mobile device!  Stay connected with United PMR by downloading our mobile app today!.

  • United is one of the few remaining refiners that still offers pick up services for large sweeps, sludge and low grade materials.  Our sales reps comb the country visiting various cities.  Want us to add you to one of our routes for a regularly scheduled pick up?  Contact us today and speak to one of our inside sales reps to check on availability in your area!

Precious Metal Spot Prices

  Bid Change
Gold $1,882.47 -$14.70/-0.77%
Silver $23.69 -$0.48/-1.99%
Platinum $871.04 -$13.35/-1.51%
Palladium $2,305.22 -$6.70/-0.29%
Gold 2020-09-30 4:55 AM
Bid/Ask $1,882.47/$1,883.26
High/Low $1,899.44/$1,882.87
Change -$14.70/-0.77%
Silver 2020-09-30 4:55 AM
Bid/Ask $23.69/$23.71
High/Low $24.31/$23.66
Change -$0.48/-1.99%
Platinum 2020-09-30 4:55 AM
Bid/Ask $871.04/$873.16
High/Low $889.30/$870.03
Change -$13.35/-1.51%
Palladium 2020-09-30 4:55 AM
Bid/Ask $2,305.22/$2,316.66
High/Low $2,333.56/$2,301.96
Change -$6.70/-0.29%

+ Show detail

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

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