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Name Saray Jewelry
Description Creator of Fine Jewelry for Over 60 Years
Address 268 Route 25A
East Setauket, New York 11733
Telephone (631) 941-3738
Since August 23, 2005
aray originals... elegant creations for all occasions..

e at Saray are committed to high standards for the ultimate in fine quality jewelry to express lasting love and beauty.

iscover the fine workmanship that is in a class by itself. We have sixty years of experience working with the best precious gems: diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

ther semi-precious gems are also made into fine jewelry to express your most discriminating taste.

Happy Ending: A Dream Creation
from Newsday

When he was a 12-year-old apprentice jewelry maker in Istanbul, Sahak Saraydarian dreamed that he would become an artisan good enough to have one of his creations placed in a museum. Now, Saraydarian's dream is about to come true.

On Oct. 17, a special silver chalice that he hand-carved will be among the art objects displayed at the opening of the American Museum of Natural History's new $2.8-million Hall of Asian Peoples. The occasion will be doubly meaningful for Saraydarian and his family because his handiwork also is a tribute to his Armenian cultural heritage. He describes it as a "once-in-a-lifetime" honor.

The opportunity came about on short notice. Saraydarian, a 47-year-old Armenian immigrant, was asked by the museum in the spring to handcraft the chalice in six weeks—a job that ordinarily takes a year. "They said they needed it for the permanent Armenian exhibit," he recalled recently in the workshop behind his little jewelry shop in Port Washington. "I started June 5 and I finished it ahead of schedule, working days and nights, on July 10."

Saraydarian was commissioned to make the chalice by the coordinator of the Armenian exhibit, Eleanora Ordjanian of Fresh Meadows. Mrs. Ordjanian, who has been preparing the display for three years together with the Center for Armenian Studies at Columbia University, asked Saraydarian to make the chalice "because I absolutely had to have one." she said, and she was unable to find an old chalice that was good enough. Mrs. Ordjanian said Saraydarian was recommended by a friend.

Saraydarian was 29 when he came to this country in 1962 from Turkey, arriving with his tools and what was left of the $200 he was allowed to take out of Istanbul. After his apprenticeship in his home country, he worked for a firm that made jewelry for the Turkish government. Later, he set up his own shop. But his fater, who died when Saraydarian was 14, had made his son promise to leave Turkey.

"For 15 years I was preparing to come to the United States," he recalled with satisfaction. In this country, he made jewelry for several leading firms before opening his shop in August 1978. He moved from Elmhurst to his current home, in Port Washington, eight years ago.

When the Hall of Asian Peoples' exhibit opens, it will mark the first time a major American museum has had a cohesive collection of American art and artifacts, displaying about 3,000 pieces altogether. The exhibit is one of about 30 in the 20,000-square-foot new hall, which will contain an assemblage of Asian ethnographic materials.

The Armenian objects were particulary difficult to collect for the museum because most personal objects had been left behind during the deportation and genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Turks in 1915. Saraydarian's chalice is more than 10 inches in height and nearly 8 inches in diameter at the base. The solid silver is embellished with gold-leaf and figures raised in relief of six-winged angels and other symbols of Armenian religious significance.

Before it was placed behind glass in the museum in Manhattan, Saraydarian's chalice was used during one service at the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, where Saraydarian is on the parish council. "On the day that we all took communion from this chalice, my boys served as alter boys." Saraydarian's wife, Christine, recalled with pride. The couple's two boys, Gregory, 14, and Benjamin, 11, and their daughter, Michelle, 6, participated in the ceremony using the cup their father had fashioned with his own hands.

— by Michael Unger

Supporting Jewelry/Crafts Since August 23, 2005; Last Updated February 25, 2006
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