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Kazakhstan's Colorful Currency Turns 20

Kazakhstan's currency -- the tenge -- was introduced 20 years ago, replacing the Soviet ruble in the newly independent country at a rate of 1 tenge to 500 rubles. The bold, innovative design of the banknotes has won the tenge a series of international awards. November 15 is marked each year as the Day of the National Currency of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A Kazakh National Bank employee shows a set of Kazakhstan's new tenge banknotes during a presentation in Almaty in 2006.
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A Kazakh National Bank employee shows a set of Kazakhstan's new tenge banknotes during a presentation in Almaty in 2006.

A 2,000-tenge note, whose design was nominated for an award from the International Bank Note Society.
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A 2,000-tenge note, whose design was nominated for an award from the International Bank Note Society.

A 5,000-tenge note issued in 2011 with a new design, named the Bank Note of the Year by the International Bank Note Society.
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A 5,000-tenge note issued in 2011 with a new design, named the Bank Note of the Year by the International Bank Note Society.

A 1,000-tenge note issued in 2010 to commemorate Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
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A 1,000-tenge note issued in 2010 to commemorate Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

A 10,000-tenge note issued in 2006 shows Astana's Bayterek monument and the presidential palace.
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A 10,000-tenge note issued in 2006 shows Astana's Bayterek monument and the presidential palace.

A 200-tenge note shows the Bayterek monument and the Transport and Communications Ministry.
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A 200-tenge note shows the Bayterek monument and the Transport and Communications Ministry.

A 10,000-tenge banknote issued in 2003 shows 10th-century philosopher Al-Farabi and a snow leopard against an alpine backdrop.
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A 10,000-tenge banknote issued in 2003 shows 10th-century philosopher Al-Farabi and a snow leopard against an alpine backdrop.

The 1993 printings of tenge notes and coins are on display at the currency museum of the National Bank in Almaty.
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The 1993 printings of tenge notes and coins are on display at the currency museum of the National Bank in Almaty.

A 10-tenge note from 1993 shows historian Shoqan Ualikhanov and Okzhetpes Mountain, where legend says a captive Oirat woman pledged marriage to any man who could shoot an arrow to the summit.
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A 10-tenge note from 1993 shows historian Shoqan Ualikhanov and Okzhetpes Mountain, where legend says a captive Oirat woman pledged marriage to any man who could shoot an arrow to the summit.

A 20-tenge note features Kazakh poet Abay Kunanbaev and a rider with a golden eagle.
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A 20-tenge note features Kazakh poet Abay Kunanbaev and a rider with a golden eagle.

A 100-tenge note from 1993 shows 18th-century Kazakh commander Ablai Khan and the mausoleum of Hodja Ahmed Yassavi, a 12th-century Turkic poet and Sufi mystic.
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A 100-tenge note from 1993 shows 18th-century Kazakh commander Ablai Khan and the mausoleum of Hodja Ahmed Yassavi, a 12th-century Turkic poet and Sufi mystic.

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