Your smartphone is a mine of precious metals and elements

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photo courtesy of samsung.com

Take a good look at your smartphone. From the display and metal casing to the circuit boards that power the device, your phone is a mine of precious metals.

The average smartphone contains small amounts of gold, silver, platinum and palladium. But mining these metals from ore can be arduous; it takes a tonne of ore to get 1g of gold. Stripping them from existing mobile phones is not easy but can yield a surprising amount of material.

Copper and aluminium, typically lower value than precious metals, can also be found in your smartphone, in the casing or the circuit board.

There is more than just precious metals in your smartphone. Rare earth elements can be found in everything from the glass display to magnets in speakers. Despite the name, rare earth elements aren’t actually that scarce; they can be found in the earth’s crust but are difficult to mine. Such elements can include yttrium and gadolinium in the display; neodymium which is often used in headphones or speakers and microphones; lanthanum to make the tiny lens in the camera that much better; and praseodymium, also for headphones.

Lithium triangle

Then you have to look at the battery that powers it. Smartphones predominantly have lithium ion batteries, which require lithium. Extracted from salt lakes, much of it comes from the so-called “lithium triangle” that includes BoliviaChile and Argentina.

Cobalt is also used in smartphone batteries. Around half the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. It’s essential for lithium-ion batteries, but there are ethical considerations. There is a link between cobalt mining and child labour, and the region is plagued by corruption and conflict.

A considerable amount of the cobalt – about one fifth – in the region is extracted by artisanal miners, who work by hand. The work is hazardous and can have health implications, from lung conditions and breathing issues caused by the dust to a link to premature births and birth defects in miners’ families.

Read more via Your smartphone is a mine of precious metals and elements

PRECIOUS-Gold on track for second weekly gain as Syria concerns linger

dental scrap, Landis refining, gold scrap

Weighing in on the precious metal market

By Renita D. Young and Zandi Shabalala
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) – Gold prices rose on
Friday, heading for a second consecutive weekly gain on
lingering uncertainty over Western military action in Syria.
U.S. President Donald Trump and his national security aides
on Thursday discussed options on Syria, where he has threatened
missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack, as
a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict between
Washington and Moscow.
Trump, however, cast doubt over the timing of his threatened
strike, tweeting that a U.S. attack “could be very soon or not
so soon at all”.
Spot gold increased 0.7 percent at $1,344.40 per
ounce by 1:38 p.m. EDT (1738 GMT), set for a weekly gain of
nearly 1 percent. U.S. gold futures for June delivery
settled up $6, or 0.5 percent, at $1,347.90.
Gold is often used as a store of value in times of political
and economic uncertainty.
“Donald Trump back-pedaled a bit in his morning tweet
yesterday, but the danger is still there that the situation
could escalate with Russia due to a military attack on Syria,”
Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig said.
“We are back at a cold war, which easily could turn into a
hot war if someone loses their nerve – and in such a situation,
gold is a haven.”

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Gold, Silver Slightly Lower Amid Upbeat Risk Appetite | Kitco News

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Photo courtesy of colourbox.com

(Kitco News) – Safe-haven gold and silver prices are slightly lower in early U.S. trading Monday. Higher world stock markets overnight are a negative for the competing asset class of precious metals. However, a slightly weaker U.S. dollar index today is working in favor of the metals bulls. June Comex gold futures were last down $0.60 an ounce at $1,335.40. May Comex silver was last down $0.007 at $16.355 an ounce.

U.S. stock indexes are also pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins, which suggests better investor risk appetite in the marketplace to start the trading week. Still, traders and investors are wondering if the high volatility in the stock market will continue this week. Such would favor the stock market bears and the precious metals market bulls.

The markets have not reacted significantly to reports of missile strikes on the Syrian military overnight, after weekend reports that the Syrian army has used poison gas on its civilians. Reports said the missile strikes came from Israeli jets.

The U.S.-China trade dispute simmered down a bit during the weekend. Trump administration officials said on Sunday that trade sanctions against China are not imminent and there is time to work out a solution to the matter.

The key “outside markets” on Monday morning see the U.S. dollar index slightly lower. The greenback is seeing a corrective pullback today after hitting a five-week high on Friday. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are higher and trading just below $63.00 a barrel.

Read more via Gold, Silver Slightly Lower Amid Upbeat Risk Appetite | Kitco News

Will Gold Keep Reacting to US-China Trade War Jitters? – Market Realist

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Gold Bars

Will Gold Keep Reacting to US-China Trade War Jitters?

Trade war jitters?

Among the four precious metals that we’ll be discussing in this series, only gold saw gains on Wednesday, April 4. Gold prices for April futures were up 0.23% and closed at $1,335.8 an ounce. Silver was down 0.84% to close at $16.2. Platinum was down 1.4% and was the biggest loser among the four precious metals. It ended the day at $912.1 an ounce. Palladium was also lower by 1.1% and closed at $918.9 per ounce.

The rise in gold was most likely due to the ongoing unrest in the markets due to the US and China trade war. China said that it would impose additional tariffs on $50 billion worth of US imports. The tariffs would include products ranging from cars, chemicals, tobacco, and whiskey. This made markets jittery, which led the US dollar to fall and pushed gold higher. The sentiment didn’t provide a substantial impact on the other three precious metals.

Gold price versus Volatility Index 2018-03-26

 Correlated moves

The above chart compares the performance of gold to the volatility index (or VIX). It is a barometer for overall uncertainty in the market. The higher chances that we could see weak markets led to a rise in this index.

We have seen that gold has a strong relationship with market unrest (VIXY) (VXZ). The higher the tensions in the market, the higher the demand for gold. As gold is famous as a safety asset, investors often jump to this reserve-for-safety. Though the short-term relationship between gold (IAU) and VIX can diverge in a more extended run, we can expect the two to track each other.

Some of the mining companies that also increased on Wednesday with gold include Cia De Minas Buenaventura (BVN), Eldorado Gold (EGO), Alacer Gold (ASR), and Coeur Mining (CDE). They were up 2.4%, 2.5%, 1.5%, and 2.3%, respectively.

via Is Gold Still Taking Cues from Downturn in Equities? – Market Realist

Precious Metals First Quarter 2018 Review And The Outlook For Q2 2018 – ETFS Physical Precious Metal Basket Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLTR) | Seeking Alpha

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Summary

Gold is the only precious metal that moves higher in Q1.

Silver underperforms and posts a loss for the first quarter.

Continued weakness in platinum.

Palladium rises to a new record high, reverses, and posts the biggest loss in the sector.

Bullish and bearish factors facing precious metals in Q2.

The precious metals sector of the commodities market posted an overall loss in the first quarter of 2018.

The composite of the four precious metals that trade on the COMEX and NYMEX divisions of the CME dropped by 8.10% in 2014. The sector fell by 19.46% in 2015, but in 2016, precious metals gained 11.71 %. Precious metals moved 20.19% higher in 2017 posting its second consecutive annual gain. In Q1 2018, the sector moved 4.08% lower in a corrective move led by losses in palladium and silver. The sector declined despite a continuation of weakness in the US dollar which declined by 2.19% over the three-month period.

 

Read More via Precious Metals First Quarter 2018 Review And The Outlook For Q2 2018 – ETFS Physical Precious Metal Basket Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLTR) | Seeking Alpha

Simplified and Predictable Aesthetic Adhesive Cementation of Indirect Restorations | Dentistry Today

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Choosing an appropriate adhesive resin cement for definitive cementation of indirect restorations can be challenging for patients requiring restorative treatment. Ideal bond strength is necessary to ensure functional treatment durability. Likewise, cement shade stability is also important for long-term aesthetics; the color of adhesive resin cements affects how the shade of tooth substrates interacts with the optical properties of restorative materials and also affects shade matching with adjacent restorations or natural teeth.

To simplify durable and aesthetic cementation of indirect restorations, a universal dual-cure adhesive resin cement system can be used (G-CEM LinkForce [GC America]). G-CEM LinkForce is a 3-component system for predictably and securely placing ceramic, resin, and metal-based inlay, onlay, crown, and bridge restorations. Ideal when adhesive bonding is required to ensure adequate strength of stacked feldspathic ceramic, pressed leucite ceramic, and/or lithium disilicate restorations (eg, GC Initial LiSi Press High Density Micronization (HDM) high-strength pressable lithium disilicate), it is also beneficial when a lack of retention form prevents mechanical retention—as with partial coverage, inlay, onlay, or veneer restorations—regardless of restorative material.

The G-CEM LinkForce self-cure mode is advantageous in situations in which restorations are thick, opaque, or located in areas that cannot confidently be thoroughly light cured. It is also indicated for the cementation of metal, ceramic, and fiber posts, as well as cast post and cores. Its universal application also includes permanent cementation of crowns and bridges on implant abutments.

Figure 1. View of the intaglio surface of the full cast gold crown for tooth No. 31 prior to micro air abrasion/etching. Figure 2. View of the intaglio surface of the full cast gold crown after micro air abrasion.
Figure 3. To begin loading cement into the crown, the nozzle was placed at the base. Figure 4. Using the nozzle to paint the internal walls of the restoration with cement, the cement was introduced into the crown.
Figure 5. Postoperative view of the crown restoration following cementation, with excess cement removed and ready for full function.

Unlike other dual- and self-cure cements that color shift over time, G-CEM LinkForce remains color stable, exhibits tooth-like fluorescence, and is available in corresponding try-in pastes. This allows dentists and patients to accurately preview aesthetics before permanent cementation.
The G-CEM LinkForce system includes (1) G-CEM LinkForce Resin Cement; (2) G-Multi Primer for stable chemical adhesion, coupling between adhesive-treated and restoration surfaces; (3) G-Premio BOND universal adhesive bonding agent for self-etch, selective-etch, and/or total-etch adhesive bonding; and (4) G-Premio BOND Dual Cure Activator for achieving high bond strengths when self-curing is required.

In the case of a 71-year-old male patient, G-CEM LinkForce was ideal for cementing a full-cast gold crown restoration to treat tooth No. 31. Prior to delivery, the intaglio surface of the restoration was properly prepared chairside with micro air abrasion (Etchmaster [Groman]).

At the cementation appointment, the provisional restoration was removed and the preparation thoroughly cleaned. The definitive restoration was tried in. After confirming patient approval, the restoration was removed and dried. G-Multi Primer was applied to the intaglio surface of the restoration and dried with an air syringe.

Meticulous isolation was established, the preparation was rinsed and dried, and then the preparation was selectively etched and dried. When light-curing, G-Premio BOND is applied, allowed to set for 10 seconds, air dried for 5 seconds, and light cured for 10 seconds. When using dual-cure mode, G-Premio Bond and DCA are applied in a 1:1 ratio, allowed to set for 20 seconds, and air dried for 5 seconds.

G-CEM LinkForce in Shade A2 was extruded directly into the restoration, which was immediately seated onto the preparation while maintaining pressure. The cement was tack cured for 2 to 4 seconds to facilitate easier, atraumatic cleanup by allowing for easy peeling off of the excess. The restoration was then light cured from each surface/margin for 20 seconds. Overall, using G-CEM LinkForce contributed to a more comfortable patient experience during a simplified cementation appointment while simultaneously ensuring a secure, aesthetically predictable restoration.

Choosing an appropriate adhesive resin cement for definitive cementation of indirect restorations can be challenging for patients requiring restorative treatment. Ideal bond strength is necessary to ensure functional treatment durability. Likewise, cement shade stability is also important for long-term aesthetics; the color of adhesive resin cements affects how the shade of tooth substrates interacts with the optical properties of restorative materials and also affects shade matching with adjacent restorations or natural teeth.

To simplify durable and aesthetic cementation of indirect restorations, a universal dual-cure adhesive resin cement system can be used (G-CEM LinkForce [GC America]). G-CEM LinkForce is a 3-component system for predictably and securely placing ceramic, resin, and metal-based inlay, onlay, crown, and bridge restorations. Ideal when adhesive bonding is required to ensure adequate strength of stacked feldspathic ceramic, pressed leucite ceramic, and/or lithium disilicate restorations (eg, GC Initial LiSi Press High Density Micronization (HDM) high-strength pressable lithium disilicate), it is also beneficial when a lack of retention form prevents mechanical retention—as with partial coverage, inlay, onlay, or veneer restorations—regardless of restorative material.

The G-CEM LinkForce self-cure mode is advantageous in situations in which restorations are thick, opaque, or located in areas that cannot confidently be thoroughly light cured. It is also indicated for the cementation of metal, ceramic, and fiber posts, as well as cast post and cores. Its universal application also includes permanent cementation of crowns and bridges on implant abutments.

Figure 1. View of the intaglio surface of the full cast gold crown for tooth No. 31 prior to micro air abrasion/etching. Figure 2. View of the intaglio surface of the full cast gold crown after micro air abrasion.
Figure 3. To begin loading cement into the crown, the nozzle was placed at the base. Figure 4. Using the nozzle to paint the internal walls of the restoration with cement, the cement was introduced into the crown.
Figure 5. Postoperative view of the crown restoration following cementation, with excess cement removed and ready for full function.

Unlike other dual- and self-cure cements that color shift over time, G-CEM LinkForce remains color stable, exhibits tooth-like fluorescence, and is available in corresponding try-in pastes. This allows dentists and patients to accurately preview aesthetics before permanent cementation.
The G-CEM LinkForce system includes (1) G-CEM LinkForce Resin Cement; (2) G-Multi Primer for stable chemical adhesion, coupling between adhesive-treated and restoration surfaces; (3) G-Premio BOND universal adhesive bonding agent for self-etch, selective-etch, and/or total-etch adhesive bonding; and (4) G-Premio BOND Dual Cure Activator for achieving high bond strengths when self-curing is required.

In the case of a 71-year-old male patient, G-CEM LinkForce was ideal for cementing a full-cast gold crown restoration to treat tooth No. 31. Prior to delivery, the intaglio surface of the restoration was properly prepared chairside with micro air abrasion (Etchmaster [Groman]).

At the cementation appointment, the provisional restoration was removed and the preparation thoroughly cleaned. The definitive restoration was tried in. After confirming patient approval, the restoration was removed and dried. G-Multi Primer was applied to the intaglio surface of the restoration and dried with an air syringe.

Meticulous isolation was established, the preparation was rinsed and dried, and then the preparation was selectively etched and dried. When light-curing, G-Premio BOND is applied, allowed to set for 10 seconds, air dried for 5 seconds, and light cured for 10 seconds. When using dual-cure mode, G-Premio Bond and DCA are applied in a 1:1 ratio, allowed to set for 20 seconds, and air dried for 5 seconds.

G-CEM LinkForce in Shade A2 was extruded directly into the restoration, which was immediately seated onto the preparation while maintaining pressure. The cement was tack cured for 2 to 4 seconds to facilitate easier, atraumatic cleanup by allowing for easy peeling off of the excess. The restoration was then light cured from each surface/margin for 20 seconds. Overall, using G-CEM LinkForce contributed to a more comfortable patient experience during a simplified cementation appointment while simultaneously ensuring a secure, aesthetically predictable restoration.

via Simplified and Predictable Aesthetic Adhesive Cementation of Indirect Restorations | Dentistry Today

Steel and Aluminum? Let’s Talk About Gold – WSJ

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I believe in free trade, but I still understand why President Trump is imposing tariffs on steel, aluminum and a range of Chinese products. America’s industrial workers have suffered for a long time, and Mr. Trump is fighting to create middle-class jobs.

Achieving that will take more than righting the last administration’s wrongs on taxes and regulation, a task already well under way. Blue-collar prosperity was eroded along with American manufacturing. From 2000-10, U.S. manufacturing employment shrank by a third after holding steady for 30 years.

Steel and Aluminum? Let’s Talk About Gold
PHOTO: ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

President Trump has rightly blamed bad trade deals, particularly those with Mexico and China, for contributing to this meltdown. But the Federal Reserve deserves a share of the blame, too, since its inflationary policies priced out U.S. manufacturers from global trade. Since 2000, their prices have risen nearly 50%, compared with about 25% for German competitors—mirroring the domestic inflation rates in each country. As a result, manufacturers fled the U.S., much the way American families have fled high-tax states.

The solution is to take control of the money supply away from the Fed and give it back to the American people—in other words, to return to the gold standard. Gold gets a bad rap in some history books because of its misuse during the 20th century. This ignores its peacetime record of high growth and nil inflation between 1834 and 1913.

Clouding the historical picture are two fake gold standards. The Depression-era gold standard was constructed to make prices fall toward the levels that prevailed before World War I, with the disastrous result of deflation. Then, under the Bretton Woods version after World War II, only foreign central banks could convert dollars into gold. This deformity caused inflation, which skyrocketed after the Fed gained total control of the money supply in the early 1970s.

Since then the U.S. has seesawed between too much and too little money in the economy. The Fed has the impossible task of guessing the market’s demand in real time. Its performance worsened in the 2000s because the Fed began to grade itself by how its money creation boosted the financial markets. Today many people are so disillusioned with the dollar’s prospects that they have embraced cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

My constituents in West Virginia get little of the upside from the Fed’s money creation and most of the downside. They don’t benefit from speculative investment returns, but they do lose their jobs and homes when the local plant decides to close because it’s too expensive to compete from the U.S.

The current Federal Reserve system benefits elites. The gold standard is equitable and puts “we the people” in control of the money supply. That’s why it was part of America’s founding and has been a key to the country’s long economic success.

On Thursday I introduced a bill that would return the dollar to the gold standard—the first such attempt since Jack Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984. Under this legislation the Fed would still exist, but it would administer the money supply rather than dictate it. Instead the market would be in charge, the supply and demand for money would match up, and prices would be shaped by economics rather than the instincts of bureaucrats.

Like President Trump, I believe that success is again possible for Americans who go to work every day and build things. Mr. Trump’s vision of how the American economy could and should work resonated with voters in 2016. Returning to the gold standard is a way for the president to deliver on his promise of American working-class prosperity.

Mr. Mooney, a Republican, represents West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

Read more via Steel and Aluminum? Let’s Talk About Gold – WSJ

42% of Americans Want to See Their Dentists More Often | Dentistry Today

 
42% of Americans Want to See Their Dentists More Often

Americans still aren’t seeing their dentist as much as they would like. For a second year, dentists topped the list of health practitioners Americans want to see more often, Delta Dental reports. According to its survey, 42% of dentists don’t see a dentist as often as they would like, beating out their primary care doctor (29%), dermatologist (23%), and ophthalmologist (17%).

Delta Dental suggests that this desire to see the dentist more is because 85% of Americans believe oral health is very or extremely important to their overall health. Also, only 25% of Americans are extremely satisfied with the health of their mouth, teeth, and gums, and 49% are somewhat satisfied. Only 15% rated their oral health as excellent.

“Recognizing the importance of seeing a dentist is a good start,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, chair of the Delta Dental Plans Association Dental Science Committee. “Why not take that next step and make an appointment for a checkup?”

The survey also found that:

  • 58% visit the dentist at least one time per year, down from 62% in 2016
  • 52% made their most recent appointment to get a regular checkup
  • 17% made their most recent appointment to have a procedure performed
  • 15% made their appointment because they were experiencing mouth pain

The Adult’s Oral Health & Well Being Survey was conducted between December 13 and December 28, 2017, among 1,008 nationally representative Americans age 18 and older with a margin of error of ±3.1%.

 

Read more via 42% of Americans Want to See Their Dentists More Often | Dentistry Today

What Causes Bad Breath? Tips for Fresher Breath

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Come on, admit it. You’ve suffered from bad breath. Everyone has. It’s one of life’s most common annoyances. The good news is we can do something about it. But first, you need to know where it comes from.

garlic bulbs

The Beginnings of Bad Breath

Bad breath starts with what you put in your mouth. Garlic for lunch? A late-morning latte? They may taste delicious, but consider yourself warned.

Food you eat: Although garlic and coffee are two main offenders, other eats like onions and spicy food also can bring on bad breath. The odors of these foods enter your bloodstream and head right to your lungs, coming out with each exhale.

Food “trapped” in your mouth: We’re not talking about just a little spinach on your teeth. After a meal, any food particles that remain between your teeth, in your gums, or on your tongue can release their odor into your breath — which gets worse as that food decays. And without good care of your teeth and gums, this stuck food can set off a cascade of events leading to gum disease.

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Using Your Personal Credit Card for Business Is a Terrible Idea | Dentistry Today

credit cardsMany of us have a preferred credit card in our wallet—the one we reach for first to swipe at checkout or shop online. We use it to pay for just about everything to accumulate points, earn rewards, and build our credit scores.

This is fine for personal purchases. But I hope you’re not also using your favorite card to cover your dental practice expenses, not only for the sake of your credit score, but for simplifying taxes and accounting as well.

For big-ticket expenses like equipment, technology, staff salaries, or expansion, you likely tap into a business line of credit or working capital loan to cover the costs. The lines may get a little blurry when it comes to covering smaller or daily expenses like driving to or between offices, buying employee meals at a tradeshow, or paying lab bills. It may be convenient simply to pay with that favorite credit card, but it’s not the best approach.

You would be surprised by how many professionals do this—dentists and other small business owners alike. But this practice can cause issues and annoyances for both your business finances and personal finances. 

It Can Negatively Impact Your Personal Credit Profile 

To some, using a personal card more often may feel like a favorable way to build credit, but this is not always the case.

It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect credit history. Charging a business expense to your personal credit card will only draw you closer to your borrowing limit, leaving you with little room for personal expenses or emergencies.

Continually using a personal card for business charges will also have you maintaining a higher credit balance and further reducing your available credit ratio, a primary factor in determining your credit score.

You Won’t Be Building Business Credit

Like an individual, your practice has its own credit profile and score. Oftentimes, this business credit score is just as important as a personal one when seeking financing for your practice.

Putting any business expenses on your personal card will hinder your ability to build business credit for your practice (because you’re not doing it by using a personal card), making it more difficult to attain a loan for your practice in the future.

To build business credit for your practice, consider a business credit card. 

It’s An Accounting Nightmare. 

Using a personal credit card to cover both personal and business expenses can set your accounting team up for a potential, yet avoidable, headache.

When tax season comes around, you’ll need to deduct your business expenses. By charging both business and personal payments to your personal credit card, it’s going to be more difficult and time-consuming to go through and separate what may and may not be deductible.

And vice versa. When using a business credit card, don’t make personal charges. By keeping these two accounts separate, it will simplify the lives of both you and whoever is in charge of your practice’s bookkeeping, allowing for a clear perspective of your spending on the business side.

You May Be Missing Out on Perks that Benefit Your Business 

Your personal credit card probably rewards you for consumer purchases, incentivizing things like paying at the grocery store or eating out at a restaurant. But many business cards offer rewards and perks that align with your business spending. Think about your everyday operational purchases and the targeted rewards you may be missing. 

The road to financial discipline is paved by both practice and persistence. So next time if it may seem more convenient to cover a business cost with your personal card, pause. Being proactive and keeping these two cards separate can set you and your practice up for continued financial success.

Mr. Gruebele is senior vice president at Bankers Healthcare Group, the leading provider of financial solutions for healthcare professionals. Contact him directly at kgruebele@bhg-inc.com or visit the BHG website at bankershealthcaregroup.com.

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