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Bingle tokens were issued by the U.S. Government to members of The Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation in 1935 as part of the Matanuska Colony Project. Each adult was given $30.00 and each child $5.00 to spend in the ARRC Commissary and store in Palmer. In 1937 The government stopped issuing Bingles and began redeeming them for Federal coinage. In 1938 they revoked the legal tender status of Bingles and melted most of the remaining Bingles. 200 sets were preserved, though finding a complete set these days is quite rare.

The name "Bingle" was already established as local vernacular for coins or tokens, and so this term stuck. It's been deemed a coincidence that a minister living in the area at the time shared the Bingle name, as the coinage term had been established before the minister's arrival.

As of 2014 the value of a full set of mint condition Bingles ranges from $1500.00 to $5000.00. Individual smaller denomination circulated tokens can be found for $20.00 and up.

The tokens were minted at The Osborne Register Co., which changed it’s name in 1947 to The Osborne Coinage Company, Inc., the firm started as Z. Bisbee Co. in 1848 and is America’s Oldest Private mint.

Kara Cox states in “Bingles, The official Currency of the Matanuska Colony” that they were minted in Seattle and that kegs of them were dumped into the Matanuska River off the bridge after they were no longer redeemable.

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If you'd like to purchase your very own Palmer Bingles, let us know! Contact the GPCC Office at 1-907-745-2880 or email to info@palmerchamber.org, and we'll be happy to assist with placing your order.

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$5 Bingle: $6

Currently Out of Stock

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$20 Bingle: $22

Please be advised that a small manufacturing surcharge is enabled, which goes directly to the local manufacturer, Silvertip Signs & Trophies, and supports a small business.

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Today's Bingle is brought to you by the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce. Though we don't have a mint, we do know a remarkably talented craftsman. Tod Richards of Silvertip Signs & Trophies has created a wooden version of the Bingle with a modern design and a natural tactile feel.

Bingles can be purchased at the GPCC Office, just give us a call or shoot us an email!

 

And don't forget, you can spend your Bingles at these local participating businesses: