Accepted for publication by the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin
Inserted: 18 sep 2018
Last Updated: 5 nov 2018
An open question akin to the slice-ribbon conjecture asks whether every ribbon knot can be represented as a symmetric union. Next to this basic existence question sits the question of uniqueness of such representations. Eisermann and Lamm investigated the latter question by introducing a notion of symmetric equivalence among symmetric union diagrams and showing that inequivalent diagrams can be detected using a refined version of the Jones polynomial. We prove that every topological spin model gives rise to many effective invariants of symmetric equivalence, which can be used to distinguish infinitely many Reidemeister equivalent but symmetrically inequivalent symmetric union diagrams. We also show that such invariants are not equivalent to the refined Jones polynomial and we use them to provide a partial answer to a question left open by Eisermann and Lamm.