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United News


January, 2018

Two weeks into the New Year, we are already seeing an influx of low grade refining lots from the holiday season. Blower sweeps, bench sweeps and filings, and floor sweeps are being sent in for processing – a clear sign of a very busy and successful holiday season.

In 2017, we saw an increase of yellow gold alloys confirming what many jewelers have been saying: yellow gold is back. As we continue to innovate and create new formulations to meet the needs of our ever-changing industry, we remain dedicated to our commitment to you, our customers and to the environment.

United is proud to have renewed our SCS Global Certification for 2018 and maintain our RJC and Responsible Business Alliance (formerly EICC) certification.

We have a new catalog available for 2018 which features our newest products. Our CAP or Customer Account Portal is in the initial beta testing stage and should be available to all our customers soon. Contact your account representative for more information.

Vinny Guadagna All the best,

Vincent Guadagna
Vincent Guadagna
President and CEO

In this issue of United News …

Refining in 2018

Last year was "the year of low grade refining". United saw a substantial increase in the number of low grade refining lots received. From bench sweeps and polishing dust to floor sweeps, carpeting and blower sweeps, this amount of jewelry manufacturing byproducts points to an even busier sales year for 2018 which ultimately leads to more refining.

Jewelry scrap from our pawn and retail jewelry customers has also augmented over the past few months though many held inventory for holiday sales and continue holding for the upcoming Valentines holiday. Nevertheless, gold buying seems to have increased ever so slightly as shoppers traded in old jewelry for new pieces in the latter part of the year.

For 2018, our turnaround times are expected to be shortened as we continue to expand our facility to better accommodate the growing demand of our more than twenty-four thousands customers world-wide. The stone removal and analytical laboratories are also undergoing changes that will allow for faster processing of your refining lots.

For a complete list of services and turnaround times, please contact your account representative.

Tech Solutions: Recommended Flask Temperatures for Casting

10, 14 & 18K Yellow Light 1150-1250°F 975-1000°F
10, 14 & 18K Yellow Medium 1050-1100°F 900-950°F
10, 14 & 18K Yellow Heavy 900-1000°F 850-900°F
10, 14 & 18K White Light 1250-1350°F 1000-1050°F
10, 14 & 18K White Medium 1150-1200°F 950-1000°F
10, 14 & 18K White Heavy 1050-1100°F 900°F
20, 21 & 22K Yellow Light 1300-1350°F 1100°F
20, 21 & 22K Yellow Medium 1250-1300°F 1050°F
20, 21 & 22K Yellow Heavy 1150-1200°F 1000°F
Sterling Silver Light 1150-1250°F 975-1000°F
Sterling Silver Medium 1050-1100°F 900-950°F
Sterling Silver Heavy 900-1000°F 850-900°F

Casting Brass & Bronze – Use the same flask temperatures as White Gold alloys.

The perfect flask temperature for any given design will be determined by experience, the flask temperature guide will normally work well for the size, karat and color gold listed.

Wait 15 to 20 minutes before quenching cast flasks of Yellow gold and Sterling.  Wait 8 to 12 minutes before quenching cast flasks of Nickel base White gold.   Shorter times may be used on small flasks due to faster cooling times.

Avoid using Investment remover chemicals that contain Hydrochloric Acid as it can cause stress corrosion cracking on lower karat gold alloys.

2017 Market Recap

When looking at the year 2017 in terms of precious metals performance, it is easy to be somewhat disappointed with its results in comparison to other investment vehicles.  With gold up about 9% this year at the time of this writing, it pales in comparison to stellar performances by the United States and Global equity markets, which are up approximately 24% and 20% respectively.  However, when looking at an investment commodity such as gold and its performance in relation to its purpose as part of an overall portfolio, one should be relativity pleased with how the metal has performed.

The price movement in gold (and silver) this year has been driven by several major factors:

  • The performances of the U.S. and Global equity markets have continually capped repeated attempts for precious metals to rally to any great degree. 
  • The burgeoning U.S. economy has given the Federal Reserve reason for three interest rate increases in response to that strength, hurting investment in precious metals.
  • The geopolitical effects of North Korea and Iran have played and will continue to play a role in underpinning the precious metal prices.
  • The "Trump Effect" – The unpredictable response to any matter which may trigger another unpredictable reaction.  (This is not a political statement – merely a fact)
  • The "BitCoin" Impact – Currently playing a smaller role but moving some speculators away from precious metals (at least for the short term).

Precious Metals have generally moved in an orderly wave-like pattern for most of this year, with rallies usually being thwarted by the continuing upward movement of the stock markets.  The low of the year was seen on the first day, touching $1146 during European hours on January 3rd.  Since then, after climbing above the $1200 level in early February (gold has tested and held that level throughout 2017).  Seeing a rally on continued dollar weakness during the summer, gold touched its year high of $1352 on September 8th.  However, the dollar subsequently recovered and the equities continued their bull run, pushing gold back below the $1300 level by the end of that month.  The last quarter has seen repeated failures to break above $1300 once again, with the corresponding selloff that follows such failures.

For 2018, it appears that one of the major influences on the price of metals will be the actions of the Federal Reserve with regard to the inflationary outlook and interest rate proclivity.  At this time, the Federal Reserve anticipates three interest rate increases next year to keep inflation in check.  This is already "built in" to the market's expectations.  However, should the economic engines slow or if core inflation does not make the appearance that most members of the FOMC expect (this lack of inflation topic has already been brought up by the Fed itself), a decision not to raise rates at any given time may have a positive impact of precious metals prices.

Precious Metal Spot Prices

  Bid Change
Gold $1,882.60 +$21.64/+1.16%
Silver $23.63 +$0.75/+3.26%
Platinum $886.51 +$38.26/+4.50%
Palladium $2,263.15 +$47.22/+2.13%
Gold 2020-09-28 2:48 PM
Bid/Ask $1,882.60/$1,883.31
High/Low $1,882.96/$1,848.73
Change +$21.64/+1.16%
Silver 2020-09-28 2:48 PM
Bid/Ask $23.63/$23.65
High/Low $23.64/$22.52
Change +$0.75/+3.26%
Platinum 2020-09-28 2:48 PM
Bid/Ask $886.51/$889.32
High/Low $888.68/$849.03
Change +$38.26/+4.50%
Palladium 2020-09-28 2:48 PM
Bid/Ask $2,263.15/$2,271.49
High/Low $2,276.38/$2,207.31
Change +$47.22/+2.13%

+ Show detail

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

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