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Small Notes Of Independent Kazakhstan: 1 Tyin (Kazakhstan, 1993)-Article

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

This ornate Kazakh banknote represents the 1st denomination of the Tenge (First Series, 1993). The Tenge was adopted in 1993, replacing the previous Soviet Ruble. Which continued to remain in circulation after the fall of the Soviet Union (1922-1991). It form the basis for a short-lived monetary union known as Ruble Zone. Which collapsed in July 1993, when Russia left the Ruble Zone.

This event lead to Kazakhstan to rapidly adopt a new currency in it's place. On 12 November 1993 President Nursultan Nazarbayev decreed the introduction of a new national currency. On 15 November 1993 the Tenge was formally adopted. This day is celebrated as "Day of National Currency of Republic of Kazakhstan". The exchange rate was set at 500 Soviet Rubles = 1 Tenge.

Notably until 2012, the Tenge was sub-divided into 100 Tyin. This unit was de-facto abolished with the demonetization of Tyin denominated coins. The note below represented a stop-gap for Tyin denominated coins. Which didn't (despite being marked 1993) enter circulation until 1 March 1994. All Tyin denominated banknotes were demonetized in 2001.


The observe is highly ornate, based on traditional Turkic art styles. This geometric style draws heavily from Kazakhstan's Islamic period. This can be seen particularly along the lower border, which resembles artwork seen in mosque. There is some barely visible micro text, in Cyrillic script. Seen as a pair of thin red-inked bands, running the note's length. On close inspection they are presumed to read "ҚАЗАҚСТАН ҰЛТТЫҚ БАНКІ" (trans. National Bank of Kazakhstan), in sequence.

This presumption is based on banknotes tendency to include micro text. Which often list the note's issuing body and/or value. Through process of elimination the faint text seems to repeat the note's header, "National Bank of Kazakhstan". Rather than its "БІР ТИЫН" (trans. One Tyin) value. Which is reinforced by small ornate number "1"s, located at the upper-left, upper-right, and lower-right corners.

Moving toward the note's center we see the text, repeating the note's "One Tyin" value. The note's print date "1993" can be seen directly below. To the right is a large number "1", on an equally ornate backing. This backing has significant symbolic value, as it represents the interior of a yurt. The traditional home used by various Central Asian nomads.

Yurt symbolism is referenced by the the Kazakh and Kyrgyz Coat of Arms. Additionally it can be seen referenced by Kyrgyz Tyin notes. Which notably served a similar role to their Kazakh counterpart. Completing the observe is the note's serial number (АЖ 0319753). This vertical serial number is read by combining the batch letters (АЖ) on the lower left.

As a final note, the positioning of the serial number and watermark type affect note's rarity. This from the serial number being positioned from the lower or upper left. In combination with a "diamond" or "snowflake" watermark. This note is the second rarest type, featuring an upper left serial number and "diamond" watermark.

The rarest type being notes with a lower left serial number and uniquely no watermark.

This example of the Kazakh 1 Tyin faintly displays a "Diamond" watermark.
Example: 1 Tyin "Diamond" watermark.


The reverse prominently features the pre-2018 Kazakh Coat of Arms, at the center left. This Coat of Arms features a pair of Tulpar (winged horses), a Turkic equivalent of the Greek Pegasus. The symbol mounted between them is a Shańyraq, the wooden crown of the yurt. A symbol of cultural strength and heritage, throughout the Central Asian steppes.

Notably the Cyrillic text along the lower edge reads "ҚA3AҚCTAH" (trans. Kazakhstan). On 1 November 2018, this text was modified into Latin script as "QAZAQSTAN". Although not seen in this example, the official Kazakh Coat of Arms is gold and sky blue (aquamarine). With gold representing a bright, clear future for the Kazakh people. While blue symbolically represents the vast skies of the steppe and an aspiration for peace.

To the center left listing the note's "One Tyin" value. Unlike the observe this is reinforced by number "1"s on all 4 corners. The micro text seen on the observe is also absent. Another subtle difference from the observe is the much simpler lower border. Despite these notable differences the reverse underprint and header remain fairly similar.

1993 First Tenge Gallery

(Gallery contains only banknotes within the database)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 102 x 65 mm or 4.02 x 2.56 in, smaller than a standard US Dollar.

  • The Kazakhstani Tenge's ISO Code is KZT, its currency symbol is .

  • The preferred method to preserve this note are standard sized side opening sleeves, cut to size.

  • The First Tyin and Tenge denominated notes were printed by Harrison and Sons, London.

  • Tyin denominated notes are well suited for beginner collectors, with an interest in the former Soviet Union.

  • Tyin denominated notes are color-coded making documentation fairly easy for inexperienced collectors.

  • The majority of Tyin notes are easy to purchase, with the exception of the rarer 20 and 50 Tyin.

  • From 1994-2003 the Series 1993 was supplemented by 6 additional notes ranging from 200-10,000 Tenge.

  • All notes from the supplemented Series 1993 were demonetized from 2012-2018.

  • All supplemental notes feature a portrait of philosopher Al-Farabi (872-950 CE).

  • With the exception of the 10,000 Tenge, all supplemental notes feature Hodja Ahmed Yassavi mausoleum on their reverse.

  • The 10,000 Tenge (2003) features an endangered Snow Leopard on its reverse.

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