AN AWARD-WINNING Port Seton silversmith is toasting online success as her new Instagram marketplace for second-hand jewellery takes off.

Sarah Hutchison, 41, runs SH Jewellery in Edinburgh’s Morningside. The business opened in 2011 and stocks the work of more than 40 contemporary jewellery designers.

Sarah started a new business in September on Instagram and it has already received huge praise in the industry.

She said: “In a time where we are all more socially conscious, trying to reduce our carbon footprint and trying to be less wasteful, it dawned on me that there was nowhere to sell your contemporary pre-loved jewellery.

“With the popularity of apps like Vinted, I decided it was time to access this service for jewellery.

“Of course, you can sell vintage or antique jewellery through auction houses, or more high street pieces on eBay perhaps.

“But with contemporary jewellery, it is difficult to access the right audience of buyers.”

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Sarah felt that her experience as a silversmith and selling contemporary jewellery gave her the credibility consumers would want when buying second-hand jewellery.

So she set up a new Instagram account called @sh_chance_to_sparkle

Initially listing six of her own pieces, she sold five within 24 hours. Since then she has sold more than a hundred items to a relatively small pool of buyers.

Sarah has been “flabbergasted” by the response so far.

She added: “This business can only go from strength to strength. It is already commanding better prices than you would get on eBay or in auction houses.

“The winning formula is that people then get a beautiful piece of contemporary jewellery that might have been outwith their budget previously.

“In a time where we are all trying to be a bit more careful with our money, people are able to buy something a bit more guilt free – it does make it more accessible.

“Often these pieces are in ‘like new’ condition too.”

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Sarah told the Courier that the service was not much of a money maker for herself but a chance to give jewellery a new lease of life. She takes in the jewellery, cleans it up and take photos before posting the pieces online.

But she stressed that the pieces she accepted “are not just any jewellery” but contemporary, handmade, designer jewellery.

She added: “It doesn’t have to be bought from my shop originally but it has to be of that level.

“It has to be from the area of the jewellery industry that I’m already in, because that’s the area that I know.”

She added: “The mindset of buying second-hand has changed a lot. I think a lot of people maybe 10 years ago wouldn’t have gone into a charity shop and rummaged around.

“Now people are much more likely to go on Vinted to buy a designer dress – people are a lot more into the idea of second-hand and getting something at good value and giving a chance to things to be worn and used.

“I think that’s why it really fits into the current ethos.”

Sarah is always on the lookout for pieces to showcase on her Instagram page. Email or call 0131 447 5544 to find out more.