'Uncut Gems' Pop-Up in NY's Diamond District Will Stock $1M of Jewelry and Showcase Blinged-Out Furbies

Uncut Gems - Publicity Still - H 2019
Courtesy of Netflix

Opening Friday, Dec. 20, the four-day pop-up will house a free jewelry cleaning station, a replica of the KMH Gems & Jewelry counter and an exhibit featuring costumes and props from the film.

Fresh off its Dec. 13 theatrical debut and a slew of awards nominations, A24's Uncut Gems is bringing the grimy, ice-filled world of high-betting jeweler Howard Ratner to Midtown Manhattan as part of a three-day immersive pop-up. Starting Friday, Dec. 20, the crime thriller's fictional KMH Gems & Jewelry is taking over an existing storefront in the Diamond District, where the Josh and Benny Safdie-directed film is also set.

The pop-up won't look too out of place upon first glance inside. The ground floor will offer free jewelry cleaning and a shop stocked with gem-encrusted designs from New York jewelers such as Avianne & Co. and Trax NYC, which both created custom pieces and served as inspiration for the film. While the onscreen jewels won't be available to buy, shoppable creations will include women's and men's fine jewelry such as 18-karat gold rings, bracelets, pendant necklaces and other accessories dripping in diamonds and other gemstones, all worth a combined $1 million or more. Not-for-sale film props showcased include crystal-covered Furbies, basketballs and goldfish in water glasses.

Up on the second floor is the Uncut Gems museum, where there will be a replica of the KMH jewelry counter, as well as an exhibit of the film's costumes, props and production materials, such as The Weeknd's wig and a Nike shoe worn by NBA star turned actor Kevin Garnett. Natch, a photo op in the store's security area will "trap" pop-up visitors for selfies. Also on offer are the movie's soundtrack on CD and vinyl ($16 to $30), while giveaways include A24's magazine, KMH water bottles and temporary tattoos.

Star Adam Sandler revealed in The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actor Roundtable that he "spent a lot of time on 47th Street" to prepare for his role as the gambling owner of KHM Gems & Jewelry. His inspirations included Avianne & Co. co-founders and brothers Joseph and Izzy Aranbayev (who welcomed the actor to study him and his staff) and TraxNYC founder Maksud Agadjani (who plays an employee in the film). "All these guys on the block let me in their shops, and I got to sit with them and watch them," Sandler told THR. "They taught me about the jewelry and about selling, and I watched them all day long. It was a lot of fun."

Izzy Aranbayev told THR that he has "done stuff for basketball players, football players, a lot of entertainers, pop singers," but that consulting on Uncut Gems marked his first behind-the-scenes Hollywood experience. "[Sandler] shadowed me for [several] weeks. I showed him how to hold the tweezers [and] the diamond like a real dealer; he saw how I was talking to clients," he said.

Aranbayev's 15-year-old son, Joseph, was also cast as Sandler's on-screen son, Eddie, after being "discovered" while hanging out at Avianne's shop. After the filming wrapped, his company gifted custom "Uncut Gems" logo necklaces to the cast and crew, including to Sandler and the Safdie brothers. "It was such an amazing crew. They took care of us like family. I felt like royalty," Izzy Aranbayev said.

Film buffs can also give the fictional store's real working phone number (917-905-9GEM) a ring to hear a voicemail greeting message from "Howie Bling." Callers will be invited to "come by the shop for the best prices; I'm talking holiday blowout-style prices," but buyers, beware. While pop-up shoppers won't enjoy the deals promised, they will walk away with plenty of movie-inspired freebies — or at the very least, leave with their own accoutrements sparking like new.

Uncut Gems pop-up, 76 West 47th St., New York; Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21 from 10am-6pm and Sunday, Dec. 22 from 11am-5pm; kmhgems.com

Dec. 19, 12 p.m. Updated to take out a previous note that Uncut Gems would screen at L.A.'s Fairfax Cinema from late December to early January with directors Josh and Benny Safdie guest-programming the theater's lineup during that time. This is no longer happening.