Throughout the first quarter of 2018, we continued to monitor trends in the jewelry industry. Yellow gold alloys were definitely the best sellers as white gold slipped into second place, a shift that began mid last year. Our original yellow alloy formulations including the 200-series alloys have stayed true and remain a staple in most casting houses throughout the US and abroad.
Refining is also making a nice comeback as United continues to service our jewelry and pawn customers. This nice surge in refining – both low grade and hard scrap – has been a welcomed change for many who had been reporting decreasing numbers over the past few months and years. However, our ounces and lots are up from last year as we continue to welcome new customers to our United family.
Our major customer support initiative this year was the introduction of the Customer Account Portal (CAP) which allows all of our customers to login and view their refining lots and orders in real-time. In addition, a wealth of information is also available including lot and order history, lock-in balances, and more. If you haven't already, be sure to call or email your account rep to acquire your credentials.
And finally, JCK begins June 1st, 2018. Because of this, we will delay the release of our third quarter newsletter until after JCK. Be sure to stop by our booth B62049 to preview our latest formulations and meet with our US and International Sales Teams. We look forward to seeing you there!
||All the best,
President and CEO
In this issue of United News …
CUSTOMER ACCOUNT PORTAL (CAP)
Since the development of our mobile app two years ago, United has been focused on creating a more customer friendly program. To that end, we are proud to introduce the new Customer Account Portal (CAP) which was tested by a select few customers throughout the beginning of the year and is now readily available to all our customers for both products and refining.
CAP offers you the ability to log in and access your account information like never before. From refining lots and real-time status updates to lot history, ounces, and more, your refining information is now literally at your fingertips. Preview your lock-ins and pool balance at any time.
Orders are also accessible to help you keep track of the products you buy, frequency, volume, etc. Note trends to see when your orders are higher to help you plan ahead for the busy seasons. A wealth of information is available in our new CAP system.
It's never been easier to access your account information.
FOCUS ON THE PAWN INDUSTRY
United enjoys building relationships with all our customers. When it comes to refining, pawnbrokers have been a constant source of precious metals since our foundation in 1988. From small shops to larger corporate chains, United proudly services the refining needs of the pawn industry.
As we continue to establish new relationships and build on existing ones, we are working more and more with state and regional associations. Recently, we had the opportunity to join the board of directors from the California Pawnbrokers Association (CAPA) as they took part in "Walk the Halls", a day of meetings with state lawmakers in Sacramento. In an effort to compete with both old and new online platforms that allow for buying and selling instantly, CAPA board members, along with a lobbyist and with the help of an assembly member drafted a bill which is being introduced to reduce the hold time from 30 to 3 days. If passed, this bill will allow for pawnbrokers to fairly compete with online platforms that allow for instant buy, sell, trade, and consignment transactions such as:
gone.com, vented.com, swapz.com, tradesy.com, chariish.com, varagesale.com offerup.com, uexchange.com, letgo.com, webuy.com, chatbuy.com, worthy.com, close5.com, and more.
The bill (AB 1993 Gipson) is aimed at allowing pawnbrokers who have brick and mortar stores and are law abiding business owners who properly collect information, photo ID's and fingerprints from their customers to complete with these online stores that are not governed and do not require any verification. Pawnbrokers are subject to extended hold periods while transacting online is instant and not monitored by or reported to law enforcement.
It's worth noting that in 2012, California pawnbrokers collectively raised funds to pay for the CAPSS database at the California DOJ which allows them to input items purchased at their stores. Each night, the system uploads those transactions into the database giving law enforcement the information they need to identify stolen items on the same day it was sold to the pawnshop. Since it was implemented, the number of stolen goods brought into pawnshops in California has dropped to less than a tenth of one percent.
United is proud to be associated with CAPA and a member of their vendor board. We will be keeping an eye on AB 1993 Gipson and wish all of the pawnbrokers in California and throughout the US all the very best!
CASTING PROBLEMS IN 18K ROSE GOLD ALLOYS
The usual complaint with 18K Rose Gold Alloys is cracking after casting. Cracking rarely occurs on 10K, 14K. 20K & 22K Rose Gold Alloys. The 18K Rose Gold will undergo an Order/Disorder transformation at about 770 degrees F / 410 degrees C. The 18K Rose Gold needs to be quenched above 770 degrees F / 410 degrees C after casting. A good rule of thumb is to quench about 3 minutes after casting. It is best to quench the button end of the cast tree first, then the rest of the tree. Longer periods of cooling will usually result in brittle or cracked casting.
If you are soldering 18K Rose Gold quench the item quickly, just as it turns dark, this will avoid cracking. Avoid using the high de-oxidizer Rose Gold alloys normally used for 10K & 14K Rose Gold in 18K Rose Gold as the high de-oxidizer content will greatly increase the grain size.
Be careful pickling the 18K Rose Gold as leaving the pieces in the pickle too long will dissolve the copper on the surface causing the enrichment of gold on the surface creating a yellow gold color (depletion gilding).
For help troubleshooting your rose gold castings, call our toll free hotline at 1-800-999-FINE.
ANALYTICAL VERIFICATION SERVICES ON THE RISE
Our assay lab has also seen an influx of samples for testing, especially pin samples from lots refined or processed elsewhere. As the refining world continues to evolve and fewer smelting operations are left, it has become increasingly important to ensure results are accurate.
United is proud to have one of the most trusted labs in the industry conducting:
- fire assay analysis,
- X-ray fluorescence,
- Macbeth Color Measuring,
- Plating Thickness Testing and
- Vickers Hardness Testing.
Our refining customers as well as our product customers all benefit from United PMR's advanced analytical services laboratory. Refining customers benefit from these tools that are used to detect payable metals in refining lots to maximize their returns. These same tools are utilized internally for our own quality control to ensure each product you purchase is properly karated and free from any dangerous metals like cadmium or lead.
Need to verify your results or double-check the plating thickness on that order before it ships? Give United's lab a call and be sure of your work. Analytical Certificates are available for each test conducted. Call us today for details and pricing.
JCK LAS VEGAS 2018
As every year, United will be exhibiting in JCK Las Vegas in the Essentials area. As many buyers have already begun planning, we invite you to add us to your agenda and stop by our booth B62049. Have technical questions? Our technical advisors will be at the booth to help troubleshoot any issues you may be having with production. Bring samples of pieces you're manufacturing or pictures of issues you may be experiencing so that our team can help in any way we can.
Looking for a new color to add to your collection? United will have our samples plate book on hand to allow you to preview new colors and formulations to add to your next collection. To set up an appointment for JCK, email our marketing team at marketing@UnitedPMR.com or call and speak to your account rep at 1-800-999-FINE or 1-716-683-8334.
We'll see you at JCK June 1-4, 2018!