DEC 2013 – Member Profile – Collector Galleries

Collector Galleries, the oldest coin and stamp retailer in the country

Located at 21 E. Redlands Blvd. Collector Galleries has been serving the world of collector for decades. The store is open Monday through Friday 10 AM to 5 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, Thursday Night Auctions are held 4 PM to 7 PM.

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.

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; on Fourth Street; on D Street; at 457 North E Street; and in Carousel Mall, and finally to its 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.

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

After being in business since 1935 they have a large inventory of coins, stamps, currency and exonumia. While they will continue to increase the products available online, it cannot compare to the vast inventory they keep at their retail store.

Today Randy and John are joined by Randy’s son Jonathan Briggs, and Brian Jensen bringing the next generation of expertise and knowledge to the store.

Collector Galleries buy all sorts of things! If it has something to do with money or local history, bring it in. Customers are so often amazed at what they find to buy and what they can get from it. Since condition means so much in the industry, they would request that you don’t clean anything, don’t fold anything, but instead leave it in its original state. Sometimes color on a coin can mean EXTRA value!

No matter how many pieces you have, we are happy to purchase any gold, silver and platinum bullion. They base their prices on the current spot market and stay very competitive even with the larger advertising corporations.

The knowledgeable staff at Collectable Galleries will evaluate, test and buy any gold, silver and platinum jewelry. It’s amazing to see how quickly scrap pieces add up to large sums of money. Customers continually remark that they pay more than anyone else in the area.  It is their goal to be as honest and fair as they can be when it comes to your jewelry. They can even refer you to several local sources in case your jewelry contains stones that may also have value.

Whether you have a large collection or bits and pieces, they will be happy to take a look at your coins form the US and around the world and make an offer on what you have to sell. No appointment is necessary

Stamp collecting is still the #1 hobby in the world and the experts at Collector Galleries see a great deal of stamp collections come through our doors. US and foreign collections are welcome.

Large size US currency, (paper money) small size and foreign currency are all items they buy. Bring in anything you have, and try not to fold it first as condition means a lot!

For more information about the Collector Galleries or to learn more about your collection stop by the store or call the experts at 909 792-2511 or log on to the website at