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PRESS RELEASE 10/6/2018

Coops Coins is to become Briggs and Coops Coins

Longtime co-owner Randy Briggs will finally add his name to the storefront, where he works alongside his son as an expert numismatist, buying and selling coins, gold, silver, stamps, currency and other collectibles.

Fred Coops founded the business in 1935. Briggs started working there in 1966 when he was 16 and still in high school, and has worked there continuously since then.

In 1977 Fred Coops, Randy Briggs and John Dudding incorporated to “Fred Coops and Co. Inc.”  Coops was the chairman; Briggs was president and Dudding was the vice president.

“Not much changed,” said Briggs speaking of the newly formed corporation. “The day after we all did the same things we did the day before.” Coops continued working until he died in 1992 and Briggs and Dudding became co-owners.

In 1995 the shop moved to its current location in Redlands from the Central City Mall in San Bernardino.

Since the retirement of Dudding in 2015, Briggs and his wife Lauren have been the sole owners. Though Fred Coops long ago left the business, his name will remain to honor him and the legacy he began. “The Coops name is important — in this industry and in this community,” Lauren said, “It’s synonymous with integrity and knowledge.”

Briggs and Coops has a new logo, new signage and a new website.

Despite the name change, the business will continue under the same ownership because the corporation still owns it. There is no other coin business this side of the Mississippi that has been under the same ownership this long, which is a point of pride for the Briggs family.

“Our goal is that the business will stay in the family,” Randy Briggs said. Their son, JR, works there full time, and has for many years. Recognizing the transition from himself to his son, Randy said, “I’m an old-mismatist and he’s a new-mismatist.” Randy’s joke is quite an understatement, as he was recently awarded a 50-year membership pin by the American Numismatic Association.

“Our sons have grown up in this business and have the skills and expertise to work there, especially given the man who is teaching them,” Lauren said, “No one can match my husband’s 50 years of experience, but my son has the knowledge and character to carry on this legacy.”

We are excited to embark on our 80th Year of business! For the following year, we will celebrate the history of our company as well as look forward to the future and what it might bring. There will be some changes coming up, but the most significant change has already taken place. In July, our 51 year partner and partner, John Dudding, entered into retirement. The business is now under the direction of Randy Briggs and his wife Lauren Briggs along with the three Briggs sons. We have updated our logo and will put up new signs on the building to show the change. Look for advances at the shop and online as we press on to the future and making our company stronger than it has ever been.

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The name of Coops in collecting circles goes back nearly 100 years to 1907 when Fred W. Coops, Sr. at age 13, founded the Royale Stamp Company in Taunton, MA. It was a mail-order business that he could operate when he wasn’t working for his father, Charles, who was in the music business and manufactured pianos. His main vocation became the piano business, but the stamp company grew as well. As Fred married and had a family of his own, the piano company moved first to Tacoma, WA and subsequently to South Pasadena, CA.

Fred W. Coops, Jr. was born in South Pasadena in 1918 and grew up closely associated not only with pianos but stamps as his dad’s mail order flourished. Unfortunately though, the piano business he had been prepared to enter failed early in the Depression and father and son were faced with unemployment. Fred, Jr. graduated from high school in 1935 and in that same year both he and his father opened the stamp stores, but in different locations: Sr. in Pasadena on South Raymond and Jr. in San Bernardino.

Click here to read more of our history.....

The early years were difficult for Fred, Jr. but he stuck with it and the business grew. Except for a few years during the war when relatives ran his store while he was in the Army Air Corps, Fred operated his company continuously from 1935 until his death in January 1992. Coins and paper money were added to be the larger part of the business.

Fred occupied several locations in San Bernardino: on Third Street next to the Pacific Electric Depot; on Fourth Street next to the California Theater (1948-1960); on D Street near Fourth Street (1961); at 457 North E Street (1961-1975); and in Carousel Mall (1975-1995), and finally to it’s current location on Redlands Boulevard.

By the mid-1960’s Fred realized the need for more employees and it was at this time that John Dudding (1964) and Randy Briggs (1966) entered the business. In 1976 the company incorporated.

After growing and serving customers for decades Randy and John relocated Collector Galleries to Redlands, CA where the store has flourished. Expanding to bullion in addition to coins, stamps and currency, Collector Galleries has been able to adapt to the current times and find a place in any market. We are proud to be able to continue the tradition of the OLDEST coin and stamp retailer in the country under the same ownership.

Our Staff

Randy Briggs Sr. began at Fred Coops’ in 1966 but had been an avid collector since 1957. His first collection was focused on Lincoln Cents. He kept his interest in collecting enough to start as an entry level employee with Fred Coops. Fred got Randy started on coin collecting and helped to progress his knowledge of numismatics, the study and collecting of coins. Randy flourished as a numismatist and as an employee and in 1977, when the company incorporated, Randy became the Vice President of Fred Coops & Co. Inc. In By 1980 he became President of the company. His reputation as a knowledgable and trustworthy numismatist has earned him high esteem from his colleagues both nationally and internationally. A life member of the CSNA (California State Numismatic Association), he has helped countless customers to grow their collections and enjoy the thrill of the hunt for elusive pieces.

JR Briggs began at a very early age. In fact, he attended his first American Numismatic Association convention at the at of 6 months old. Following in his father’s footsteps, he experienced the collecting bug early. He collected baseball cards and would sort them according to player and teams on a regular basis. Like so many, as he traveled to other countries, he was fascinated by the different currency and coins. He can remember helping his father sort German Paper Money (Notgeld) following an early trip to Germany.

Following High School, having already spent years working in the store, JR pursued his love of music as a member of The Aquabats, with 8 CD’s, multiple tours of Australia, England, Europe and Japan as well as the TV show, The Aquabats Super Show. 

In between recordings and tours, JR returned to Coops’ Coins where he furthered his coin and paper money knowledge. He has regularly attended the Long Beach Coin Show and has completed the ANA’s Numismatic Course: Grading United States Coins.

Guy Todd started working at Coops in February of 2016. He has a degree in Engineering Technology with a specialization in Nuclear Technology, most of which was completed during his time in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Machinist’s Mate. Since leaving the Navy he has taught English in China, illustrated a web-comic in Costa Rica and operated his handyman business here in Redlands and in Sacramento.
Guy came to Coops with strong reservations about collecting in general. His frequent relocations have led him to resist accumulating anything, and before his time here, he would have said collecting was the first ill-fated step down a slippery slope at the bottom of which lies hoarding. He has been gently, but firmly, disabused of this erroneous notion and has begun a collection consistent with his minimalistic lifestyle.
Though he looks it, Guy isn’t related (in any way we know of) to the Briggs.