A Look Back on 39 Years in Business

Happy Spring (finally) newsletter readers!

On April 1st Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins celebrated 39 years in business.  On April 1, 1980 I opened a tiny coin shop in Ankeny, Iowa called Coin World. I was fully aware that there was a numismatic publication named Coin World, but didn’t think it was problem as they were a newspaper and I was a retail coin store.

So after my ads were already published in the yellow pages for the coming year, I received a certified letter from the legal department of Coin World to change my name or be sued. Now what to do?  To keep some continuity to my name and confuse customers as little as possible, I changed the name to Coin Works.

As time went on, I slowly got into the jewelry business. After 5 years I moved my store to a bigger and better location. Coin Works was not a very sexy name for a jewelry store, so I changed the business to Coin Works and Christopher’s Fine Jewelry.

I thought the new location was going to be great, but after 2 armed robberies I changed my mind. I then moved into my 3rd location in a brand new strip mall in Ankeny. This was a great move. I was able to greatly expand my jewelry business in a larger space that was in the best location in Ankeny.

A large part of my business has always been buying coins, gold, silver and jewelry from the public. Ankeny was still a relatively small town and to most people in the Des Moines area Ankeny was somewhere between Des Moines and Minneapolis. Many people around the state had never heard of Ankeny. As my buying from the public business grew, it became evident that I was missing out on a big piece of the pie because I wasn’t in Des Moines. People there just wouldn’t drive to Ankeny.

After 5 years in that location I made the major decision to move to a Des Moines location at 3408 Merle Hay Rd.  This was a good space for me, but the parking was tight and I had no room to expand. After 5 years there I bought a 4,000 square foot building across the street that had a large sign and plenty of parking. We have been in this location for 20 years. We have remodeled 3 times and this has turned out to be an amazing space for Christopher’s.

This is a short story of some of the changes over the years from a 450 square foot store to a 4000 square foot mega store. Stay tuned for more exciting changes coming to Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins.

Chris Seuntjens
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins