I’d heard that trying to find and buy jewellery in Paris can be a tricky business. I was looking to acquire some precious gems and had been told the Parisian dealers can be secretive and unhelpful. But nothing was further from the truth; they couldn’t have been nicer, offering me tips on where I might find what I was looking for, but sadly, I was hitting a brick wall. And by the third day I had almost given up all hope of finding anything.


That was until I met up with a group of friends in a small restaurant in the centre of the city. I was telling them of my woes when one of them told me of an elegant women they knew who was looking to sell some precious goods.


Before I could say “et voila”, I was in the exquisite home of this chic lady who introduced me to her husband and four dogs, who wanted me to play all night with them.


I like dogs as much as the next person, but I would be lying if I said that on this occasion my interest was not being piqued by what their stylish owner was up to.


Standing next to her heavy iron safe, she was pulling velvet bag after bag from it. My eyes as big as saucers and my heart beating faster and faster, I could barely contain my excitement. I thought I was about to savour the delights of a cornucopious collection of gold and precious stones.


But just as my appetite had been whetted, my graceful host stopped me in my tracks and said that I must stay for dinner, and we’d look at what was in the velvet pouches later. On this occasion my eyes were definitely bigger and more interested than my belly!


I thought to myself, not only does this refined woman have amazing taste, but she was also the most amazing saleswoman. I now couldn’t wait to see what she had, but somehow had to had to hide my excitement. I dutifully followed her into her beautifully decorated salon to play once again with her dogs, while her husband described the marble busts they had inherited or collected over the years.


But they didn’t much interest me… my thoughts were back at that iron safe and the bags of treasures it normally contains, and if I would ever have a chance to look at or hold them, let alone purchase any of the