We offer you this edition of United News. The Precious Metal Markets these days have been moving in directions that have been dictated by political unrest, rising oil prices, and a weaker US dollar. This latest trend with the increase in Precious Metal Pricing may or may not continue, as so much of this is hinged in our political climates throughout the world.
At United, we are seeing continued interest in Refining, as the markets have been making this "quest for metal" very worthwhile. In terms of products, we are seeing manufactures continue to focus on specialty silver products and colored master alloys as there continues to be an appetite for Gold alternatives in the buying public.
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 …
Pre-Alloying United Master Alloys Prior to Casting for Best Results
United recommends pre-alloying our gold and silver master alloys with fine gold or fine silver before using the metal for casting. This will assure a uniform homogeneous mix of the alloying ingredients and allow a lower casting temperature to be used.
Pre-alloying temperatures will be well above the recommended casting temperatures and casting at the pre-alloying temperatures will be too hot for ideal casting results. When pre-alloying in an open melting system it is best to stir the molten metal well and add a little boric acid flux if needed prior to pouring the metal into water to make shot or into a small ingot or button molds. The metal shot should be dried well before using it for casting.
Use extra care in pre-alloying nickel base white gold alloys, make sure all the master alloy is melted into the mix, it often needs a little stewing to get it mixed. In most closed induction melting systems you may have to hold the molten metal a minute or so at the pre-alloying temperature to get it mixed. Some machines have a power stir feature that should be used when alloying the metal to obtain a good mix.
Instruction sheets are available for all United Master Alloys be sure to request an instruction sheet with your order. They are also available on our website.
Impurities in Refining Lots
On occasion, a customer will get a refining lot with unusual results. This could be a higher than usual melt loss or a lower than average assay. A number of factors can influence your results for a particular refining lot.
Here are just a few…
Under Karated Jewelry. This problem is seen throughout larger markets where some smaller jewelers fail to properly karat the gold before casting. Cutting corners at the manufacturer level can short the customer and ultimately the person or company buying the pieces in scrap.
Solder Points. Pieces that have been sized or repaired are compromised depending on the solder used. Repair solder, which is under-karated, can lower the piece's overall karating. Chains with soldered links are especially vulnerable to this factor as many are made with chain maker solder which contain zinc, copper phosphorous and flux – no precious metals at all.
Alloys in The Jewelry. Not all alloys are created alike. Some base metals, like Zinc, have a lower melt temperature and burn off during the refining process when heated to the proper temperature to achieve a homogeneous melt. This burn off can be responsible for a higher than usual melt loss.
Miscellaneous Items. Often times the culprit is as simple as the steel springs in lobster clasps. In large chain lots, these springs can add up and represent an inflated melt loss. Many jewelers cut off the clasps and reuse them in their retail operations eliminating the inevitable contaminate in their refining lot.
Note: Gold jewelry made prior to 1976 is usually ½ karat lower than the stamped karat. New laws established in 1976 did away with this practice but it's important to be aware, especially when purchasing vintage or antique jewelry.
For more information about refining, please contact our refining department or speak to your sales representative.
United's New GREEN|AU
At United, we have been innovating new products that have influenced the jewelry industry for decades. This year, United is proud to launch our new GREEN|AU – green colored gold that is environmentally friendly.
Green gold contains a higher silver content than yellow gold alloys and is somewhat softer than yellow gold. Green gold used alone or in bi-color and tri-color designs will obtain a unique looking variation in color. Our most popular Green Gold master alloys are:
# 570 Green Alloy - Recommended for 14KG & 18KG Casting + All purpose.
# 575 Green Alloy - Recommended for 14KG & 18KG Rolling + Fabrication.
# 264 Green/Yellow Alloy – Recommended for 10KG Casting.
At United, we care about the environment which is why our fine gold is 100% recycled, certified by SCS. In addition, United is audited yearly by EICC to ensure compliance with the Dodd-Frank Bill and certifying that our gold is conflict-free. We take pride in our certifications and the fact that all our products are made in the USA with the finest metals from all over the world.
For more information about United's SCS Global Certification or our EICC Conflict Free Certification, visit our website or contact your representative today.
Getting to Know You...
Heinz joined United nearly 10 years ago. Being European born and educated, Heinz learned the jewelry trade at an early age and spent his whole life in the industry. After his apprenticeship, he the opportunity to learn the modern way of jewelry production, lost wax casting. He was involved in setting up a jewelry company in South East Asia where in addition to lost wax casting, Heinz was able to learn and work in all stages of jewelry manufacturing and production.
Heinz came to the US in the 1980's where he immediately found work with companies who brought his talent and skills to the next level. As a customer of United, Heinz too had counted on United's technical team on several occasions where he made relationships with our technical staff and sales people. After many years of gained experience, Heinz joined United's technical team to serve and help our customers troubleshoot production issues.
As part of his commitment to servicing United's customers, Heinz frequently travels both domestically and internationally to attend trade shows and visit our customers, distributors and agents in troubleshooting problems around the world. Being very open minded, Heinz researches new technics and innovations to apply to modern jewelry production.
When Heinz isn't traveling, he oversees the New York Market. As a resident of New York City, he knows and is known by all the casters and finishing shops in the City where he frequently stops in for technical visits. Though he rarely finds any, in his spare time, Heinz enjoys watching sports, mainly soccer and racecars.