My name is Ara Davidi Ghazaryan, born on October 8, 1974, in Gyumri, Armenia. My journey in jewelry making began at 14 in my hometown, Gyumri, where I spent my childhood and youth.
At 16, I joined Gyumri College of Fine Arts, majoring in artistic metal processing. It was here that I delved into the intricacies of jewelry making. By 20, I had become a renowned goldsmith in Gyumri, known for my bespoke pieces commissioned by European clients.
In 2001, I relocated to Los Angeles, USA, and soon established my own design studio, “Ara Davidi.” This venture marked the beginning of my deeper exploration into jewelry design. Over the years, I’ve crafted pieces for numerous high-profile individuals, honing skills in designer-modeling, enamel, engraving, and fine sculpting, often using traditional techniques.
A significant milestone was on June 12, 2017, when I was awarded the Guinness World Record for creating the world’s smallest handmade gold chess set. This exquisite piece, measuring just 15.3*15.3 cm, combines Brazilian cherry wood and 18kt gold, weighing a mere 6.5 grams. The set, featuring diamonds and intricate details like a removable crown on the Queen, is a testament to my craftsmanship.
In 2019, I was honored with a special Biennale award for “Tachar (Temple),” a creation commemorating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci.
Furthering my record-breaking achievements, on August 22, 2020, I won another Guinness World Record for the smallest chess set in the world. This 8mm*8mm masterpiece, crafted with 18K white and yellow gold and Armenian apricot wood, showcases my commitment to pushing the boundaries of design.
My work is a blend of the abstract, antique, classical, and modern, uniting various art forms. I use unique tools, crafted by my own hands, which are unavailable anywhere else. My creations are not just products of skill but are fueled by soul and an insatiable thirst for creativity. As I continue to explore new horizons in jewelry design, I draw inspiration from Leonardo Da Vinci, embodying his belief in the inseparable nature of art and philosophy. For me, jewelry design is more than a profession; it’s a life philosophy.
Two Times Guinness World Records Holder 🏆
Artist Ara Ghazaryan has an exceptional eye for detail, particularly with his latest work, the world’s Smallest handmade chess set.
Ara’s first Guinness Record was for a chess set that measured 15.3 x 15.3 mm.
Made on an incredibly minute scale, the entire board with accompanied pieces measures a total of 15.3 x 15.3 mm (0.6 in x 0.6 in), a size that amounts to be smaller than a US quarter coin.
Of the pieces, the Kings stand the tallest at 4.8 mm while the smallest pieces are the pawns, which come to 2.3 mm in height – with the chess set itself weighs 6.63 g.
Guinness World Records guidelines for the record category state that a set has to be exactly to scale and perform the original function as the everyday original.
Luckily the artist, who is based in Los Angeles, California, designed the board to be playable – so long as opponents keep a steady hand!
Nevertheless, the materials used for crafting the chess set might be the most impressive element to this tiny masterpiece, as the board tiles are made from a luxurious Brazilian cherry wood and 18 Kt. yellow and white gold, while the bottom of the board has small bezel set diamonds located in each corner.
Ara’s second Guinness World Record was for the chess set that measures 8 mm x 8 mm which was achieved on 22 August 2020.
The chess board itself is made from 18 k yellow and white gold with Armenian apricot wood and rests on a frame made of platinum, 18 k yellow gold, rubies, and diamonds. The figures measure in height from 1 mm for the pawns to 2.4 mm for the kings.
Model of the White House
"It will live as part of the National Archives collection for future generations to appreciate and enjoy for the years to come."
- Joe Biden,
46th and current president of the United States
46th and current president of the United States
Ara Davidi Ghazaryan pays homage to a pivotal moment in history with his meticulously crafted model of the White House. This exquisite piece was created to extend gratitude to US President Joe Biden and Congress for their recognition of the Armenian Genocide, a gesture deeply significant to Ara and the Armenian community worldwide.
The model is a feat of miniature artistry, with the White House rendered in 18K white gold and set upon a detailed surrounding area. Every aspect, from the light gray enamel of the entrance to the emerald hues representing the lush lawns, is crafted with precision and respect. The surrounding trees, brought to life with 18K yellow gold and green agate, and the fountain, detailed with green and red enamel, are a testament to Ara’s commitment to capturing the essence of this iconic residence.
Notably, the piece features a common circular base symbolizing Earth, crafted from stainless steel and adorned with the US Coat of Arms in 18K yellow gold. Encircling this are 50 stars, each enameled in blue and white, representing the unity of the United States. This model, the smallest gold rendition of the White House globally, stands as a symbol of gratitude and remembrance, its creation involving over 1820 hours of devoted craftsmanship.
Now housed within the National Archives Museum, this artwork has garnered personal acknowledgment from President Joe Biden, who assured that it “will live as part of the National Archives collection for future generations to appreciate and enjoy for the years to come.“
Through this historic creation, Ara Davidi Ghazaryan not only commemorates a significant acknowledgment but also seals his commitment to art that resonates with cultural and historical consciousness. His works are not just displays of artistic prowess but are also vessels of profound narratives, etching stories of significance in the annals of time.
The Essence of Craft: The Key to Heaven Film
Ara Davidi Ghazaryan’s artistry transcends mere craftsmanship; it is a narrative woven in precious metals. The documentary by Rossano B. Maniscalchi delves deep into Davidi’s intimate connection with art and the profound meaning he infuses into his life’s trajectory through his work. “The Key to Heaven” is not just a piece of jewelry; it is a symbol of his journey — a testament to the meticulous skill and philosophical depth that define his creations.
This narrative is punctuated by the piece “The Key to Heaven,” a masterful expression of Davidi’s philosophy. The documentary, enriched with evocative imagery, provides a unique visual perspective on the fashion world, juxtaposing the allure of the runway with a critical eye on its competitive, often ruthless nature. Through this lens, “The Key to Heaven” emerges as a metaphorical lockpick, not just for the gates of celestial paradise, but for unlocking the true potential within one’s artistry against the odds of the industry’s underbelly.
Director’s Statement: “This film is an endeavor to capture a unique visual angle on the fashion world. It nods to the dazzle of catwalks while also unflinchingly portraying the darker side of the industry’s competition and the relentless pursuit of success, regardless of the collateral damage.”
“The Key to Heaven” is featured as a centerpiece in this exploration — a beacon of Davidi’s pursuit of excellence through a blend of ancient craftsmanship and contemporary design.
As Seen On
"THE TEMPLE": A Homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy
“THE TEMPLE” by Ara Ghazaryan is a profound homage to the memory of Leonardo da Vinci, blending Armenian artistry with universal craftsmanship to create a piece that speaks across cultures and epochs. This intricate work, a harmonious blend of 18 and 22 karat gold, argentium silver, and Armenian apricot wood, encapsulates Ghazaryan’s philosophy of melding form with content.
At 108mm in height and 45mm in width, “THE TEMPLE” is a testament to Ghazaryan’s virtuosity, showcasing his expertise in enameling and ornamental crafting, yielding a lustrous glaze that radiates against the golden structure. Encrusted with rubies and diamonds, the artwork resonates with symbolic significance, its octagonal and round shapes reflecting the unity of earthly existence and eternal heaven.
Ghazaryan’s revival of classical techniques such as casting, engraving, and filigree, alongside his innovative design, infuses “THE TEMPLE” with a unique contemporary voice while paying respect to the architectural mastery of the Italian Renaissance. It nods to the revered works like Bramante’s Tempietto and Brunelleschi’s dome of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Beneath the dome of “THE TEMPLE,” protected by glass, lies a microscopic masterpiece—the world’s smallest chess set, recognized by the Guinness World Records. Crafted from 18K white and yellow gold and Brazilian cherry wood, the set features intricately designed pieces, including kings and queens adorned with diamond crowns.
Ara Ghazaryan, in his creative endeavor, assumes multiple roles: a jeweler, architect, sculptor, painter, and engineer. His creations, brought to life with tools he personally devised, transcend mere objects to become manifestations of spirit, bearing an emotional impact that invites reflection and admiration.
Ghazaryan's work is a tour de force of jewelry art, seamlessly integrating centuries-old techniques with modern innovation. His use of gold and argentium silver, combined with the vibrant hues of Armenian apricot wood, creates a singular masterpiece that is not only visually captivating but also rich in symbolic meaning. The intricate enameling and precious stone inlay work showcase his remarkable attention to detail and deep respect for his craft. Ghazaryan's creations are more than just objects of beauty; they are vibrant narratives captured in metal and stone, each piece a resonant echo of history and culture.