SPECIAL EDITION NEWSLETTER
United PMR remains OPEN and serving our customers around the world. While the impact of the Covid-19 crisis has impacted our industry, we continue committed to helping our customers get through this as we work together.
Retail jewelers have, for the most part, been closed for a few weeks now. However, tradesman and some manufacturers/shops have continued working throughout the "shelter in place" order. We have been able to work with our team to fulfill orders for those shops that remained open and liquidating much of the stock items we had prior to shutting down our wire, sheet and tube production.
Pawnshops, providing an essential function as financial institutions have also continued to function during the pandemic. *A survey by the FDIC showed that 1 in 4 U.S. households are unbanked or underbanked. It further stated that approximately 40 percent of unbanked and underbanked households have used pawn stores. At United, we've seen an influx of refining lots from pawnshops around the country and from parts of Latin America that continue to export goods to the U.S..
While no one can say with absolute certainty when, or even if, things will get back to "normal", we are looking to mid-May or June 1st to be back up and fully functional with production. The cost of this crisis to our industry and the nation as a whole is yet to be determined. Trade shows and major industry events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely as the world waits, not for the all clear from government leaders, but for a self-sense of safety.
As the world begins to transition from Stay Home to Stay Safe, we will all live very different lives than we did before the pandemic. At United, we've implemented social distancing protocols as well as new health and safety regulations and procedures both for our personnel as well as for the metals we refine and products we make. As the virus has been shown to survive on metal surfaces for days, we continue to sanitize metals both incoming for refining and outgoing as new jewelry products made from 100% recycled gold and silver. Production personnel mandated to utilize PPE (personal protection equipment) such as gloves, masks and face guards to safeguard both our employees and our customers.
What's up (or down) with the Gold Price?
As many customers have noticed, the actual gold price has been difficult to obtain over the past few weeks when checking with online, non-trading sources. For years, professionals dealing in precious metals have turned to indicator websites which, until recently have been somewhat reliable. That all changed a few weeks ago when something unprecedented happened… Covid-19 spread throughout Europe which ultimately led to the closure of precious metals refiners and trading as well as carriers refusing to transport metals in overseas markets.
These indicator websites use algorithms to determine the price of gold – many of which take into account futures contracts as well as a number of other factors. Due to the shutdown overseas, New York had been experiencing a critical shortage of physical gold to meet the volume for June contracts which in turn was driving up the price of gold.
As a remedy to the shortage in New York, the banks have begun purchasing 400 T/oz gold bars from London, which remains shut down, and converting them to 100 T/oz bars which can and will be delivered to the Comex to fulfill the futures contracts. The problem may now become the possible shortage in London since these bars being delivered to NY aren't being replaced.
Currently trading at around $1700.00 USD, buyers and sellers alike are looking to cash in on their scrap which has kept refiners and middleman buying operations busy over the past few weeks. The problem remains with the indicator websites which, though getting better, are still way off from actual gold pricing.
Interestingly enough, some of these websites who actually allow customers to trade with them do not honor the price they are quoting on the screen. If you search through the site or call them for actual pricing, you'll be surprised just how different the price is from what they'll pay to what the site(s) is saying.
To obtain the actual gold price, contact United PMR at
1-800-999-FINE (3463) and press "8" to be connected to the Trading Desk.
United's Research & Development: Still working for you…
While the majority of Jewelry Manufacturers and Custom Jewelry Shops as well as Casters have remained closed, United's R&D Lab continues to develop new products to enhance our product line in order to meet the needs of our customers. To that effect, the lab has recently completed the development and testing of the following new and improved products:
- 18kt Pink Solder Group (Easy, Medium, Hard) Improvements
- Increased flow capabilities
- Improved Color
- PSP – Platinum Solders (1300, 1400, 1500) new product group for platinum users
- Low Karat (1K-6K) both in Yellow and White with Pink still in the production phase
- Pd 18, a new lower cost Pd-white gold alternative
Did you know United's Tech Team offers a variety of services including…
- Increased troubleshooting: able to test products in real time under real conditions to offer accurate recommendations by monitoring products through the entire process from casting to finishing
- Evaluate samples upon request in our state-of-the-art analytical laboratory
- Work closely with customers with comprehensive studies they may not be able to undertake themselves.
- Develop specialty products upon request.
For information about United's Tech Team and our capabilities or to troubleshoot your production issues, call us at 1-800-999-FINE (3463) and press "3" for technical assistance.