Second Hand September

So, what’s it all about?

A campaign started by Oxfam to encourage us to shop second-hand for an entire month, to celebrate pre-loved, and make us think twice about our shopping habits in general.

Since its launch in 2019 it’s been hugely popular, with more than 50,000 people sharing the #SecondHandSeptember hashtag in 2021, and most importantly getting more of us shopping preowned; a real positive step towards looking after our planet.

Get involved

Becoming a conscientious shopper and thinking about the planet should be our priority right now but it’s not always that easy. Shopping preowned can be a little daunting, so we have created this guide to make it a little less overwhelming. It’ll show you the benefits of shopping preloved and offer tips on how to rejuvenate some of your own forgotten treasures.

Top Tips


Be sure to select a company who are experts in the products they are selling! At Brilliant Vintage our jewellery is catalogued by specialists with years of experience in handling Modern, Vintage, Retro, Art Deco, Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian jewellery as well as designer handbags and accessories.  Our founder Helen is a gemmologist, and all our gems are tested before they are listed. We also offer a 100% happiness guarantee, if you change your mind for any reason simply return the item, no questions asked. It couldn’t be simpler! See our returns policy for more information.

Save money

Buying second hand jewellery and handbags will save you money, is so much better for the planet and makes a great investment, win, win, and win! As well as all these benefits there’s no need to compromise on condition. At Brilliant Vintage all our stock is thoroughly assessed and sometimes requires a little bit of TLC. In this instance the jewellery is restored by an experienced jeweller in London’s Hatton Garden and the handbags are sent to the specialist spa which as well as completing any repairs gives them a clean and refresh. 


Buying preowned allows you to exercise your personal sense of style and individuality, especially with vintage and antique pieces. You’ll have your pick of some amazing one-of-a-kind and unique items. Some of the vintage Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co finds are discontinued, meaning they are now rare and collectable.


We have loads of great low-cost ways to refresh and rejuvenate your current jewellery and handbags. For more on this topic sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this article - its jam packed with tips and hints like these.

  • Give it a bath - It’s amazing how much dirt can accumulate on your jewellery even when you’re not wearing it. Using an old toothbrush and some warm soapy water clean your jewellery, paying particular attention to the backs of gemstones and settings. The results are unbelievable! Before trying yourself make sure you check our A-Z Of Gemstones article for more information on which gems are safe to clean in this way, gems such as Emerald should not be cleaned in soapy water. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for even more great tutorials.

  • Give it a polish - A silver and gold polishing cloth is a great way to lift blemishes and tarnishing that’s built up over the years, and it’s very therapeutic to do!

  • Leather handbags - Run a water wipe over the outside of a leather handbag. It’s a great way to lift dirt from the surface. A lint roller is fantastic in picking up dust hidden in the bottom of a bag as well.

  • Storing handbags - Make sure when you are not using a handbag that its stuffed with tissue paper. This will stop the bag losing its shape. Also try to store your handbags were there is good airflow, not at the back of a wardrobe, as this is how they can end up smelling musty.

  • Don’t throw unwanted items away - If you don’t use your old jewellery or handbags sell them, this will give someone else the opportunity to enjoy them, and you can use the money to buy yourself another little preowned treasure.


Always consider a remodel or upcycle! There are so many options, it doesn’t cost the earth and the results look fantastic. For example, you lose one earring from a pair (we’ve all been there!) and you can’t wear just one earring! Wrong! For not a huge amount of money, you could have the stud converted into a beautiful pendant! Here’s some examples of pendants that have been upcycled this way.

three pendants that have been converted from earrings

At Brilliant Vintage we offer a pearl restringing service for necklaces and bracelets. This is a great way to brighten and refresh a piece. There is also the option to add in some gems to give your pearls a more contemporary look. Here’s a pearl restringing project we completed recently.

Pearl necklace with modern gem set in the centre

We hope this guide has given you some useful information and inspiration on buying and restoring vintage jewellery and handbags. If you have any other questions feel free to email us and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok for more tips and advice.