The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

How Impurities Change Gold's Color

January 3, 2018 07:00

The term "impurities" has many connotations, but in gold mining and refining, impurities refer to anything that lowers the karat weight or millesimal fineness of a sample of gold. In our business, we’ll accept practically any scraps or objects that contain gold, but we ONLY pay for the gold content – impurities mixed in or alloyed with the gold like iron or nickel end up as waste products of our refinery process. However, that doesn’t mean impurities are worthless!  
Impurities can be used to change gold’s physical properties (like hardness) or appearance. Just like mixing different kinds of paint to create new shades, mixing gold with other metals creates new colors. By adding "impurities" the creative jeweler or goldsmith gets to make a veritable rainbow of new colors that still have gold's signature luster, weight, and value. For example, "white gold" is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal, such as nickel or palladium. In the infographic below, you can learn about the different shades of gold and what types of metal are used to create those colors.

Melt Values for Trophies and Medals

January 3, 2018 07:00

A client recently asked if the items we buy include trophies and medals. Well, just like the significance of the accomplishments they commemorate, the aftermarket value of trophies and medals varies widely. We'd only pay for the amount of precious metals those awards are made of.

Unless you're a high-profile figure whose name adds value to whatever it's stamped on, then you're old trophies would only be valuable if they were gold or silver plated. Generally, awards made with genuine gold or silver are saved for the world stage – in which case, their historical significance, prestige, and level of craftsmanship are all certainly worth much more than the melt value of the precious metals they contain. The gold and silver trophies shown below are perfect examples. Check out our infographic below to learn about the precious metals used in the construction of some of the world’s most famous trophies and medals.

Crafting a Marketable Return Policy

May 2, 2017 03:00

If you work in a fine jewelry store, it can be disappointing for a customer to return something you spent a lot of time helping them pick out. However, product returns are not something you should actively discourage in your store. For many customers, even a small jewelry purchase can feel risky. A tedious or punitive returns policy can scare off potential new customers, or create problems for loyal customers who need to return something. Conversely, a hassle-free returns policy can be used to increase sales, build customer trust, and improve your store's reputation. When reexamining your jewelry store's returns policy, make sure you do the following.

Use customer-friendly language

If your business requires a returns policy with lots of exclusions or fine print, that's perfectly fine. However, you'll want to avoid spelling out those exclusions in a punitive tone. Instead, use positive language that considers the customer's point of view and makes them feel like their purchase is appreciated and protected, rather than threatened.

Give enough time

Shorter return periods can create a counterproductive sense of urgency. If you give customers a longer period of time to return something, they're less likely to experience this pressure.

Cover replacement costs where you can

If your margins are enough to allow for it, or if the return meets certain requirements, keep your customers from paying additional return costs - like restocking or shipping fees. Showing that you are willing to cover those expenses can improve a customer's confidence in their purchase decision.

The running theme here is: don’t penalize the customer who needs to return something. Most people check the return policy before committing to an expensive purchase, like jewelry. If it looks like they could be “punished” by the hassle created by your returns policy, there’s a greater chance they'll look elsewhere.



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