David Saity, who made his Manhattan jewelry store famous for selling the biggest and brightest examples of American Indian jewelry, died on Monday at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, The New York Times reports. He was 71.
The family reportedly did not announce a specific cause of death.
Mr. Saity was born in Baghdad, the newspaper reports. He immigrated first to Israel and finally settled in New York, where he initially worked as a stock analyst.
In 1973, he and his wife, Chaya, opened their first small shop on West 73rd Street, with his wife serving as a model for their striking offerings, the newspaper reports. As the business grew, Saity Jewelry moved into the Trump Tower and finally to its current store on Park Avenue, off 57th Street.
Mr. Saity specialized in Native American turquoise and silver designs, often advertised in color in magazines. His wares also showed up in fashion magazine layouts and even on models in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. He regularly visited the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico to restock his shop; the items sometimes sold for thousands of dollars.
Mr. Saity contributed to causes including the Jewish National Fund and the National Jewish Outreach Program. He was also a supporter of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a social agency for American Indians.
Mr. Saity is survived by his wife of 35 years, Chaya Polonsky Saity; two sisters, Ruth Batat and Hava Sasson; and a brother, Hezy Sity.