On November 12, 1993 the President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree "On introduction of the national currency of the Republic of Kazakhstan". According to the decree, on November 15 of the same year at 8.00 a. m. the national currency, the tenge, was introduced. New currency was put into circulation in a 1:500 ratio.
The term "tenge" originates from the Turkic worlds "tanga", "donga", "tenga" which meant "money". During the development of the national currency of Kazakhstan such names as "som", "aksha", "altyn" were also suggested. However, "tenge" was chosen.
The development of the national currency was conducted in a short period of time — within one year. In comparison, it took six years to develop English pound sterling. Today the tenge has eighteen levels of protection. Two of them have been used for the dollar and the euro printing.
The design of the first banknotes of independent Kazakhstan was developed by artists M. Alin, T. Suleymenov, A. Duzelkhanov, Kh. Gabzhalilov. Historical figures, such as Al-Farabi, Abay, Abulkhair Khan, Ablay Khan, Kurmangazy, Ch. Valikhanov, and to name but a few, were depicted on the banknotes of 1993. Since that time the design of the tenge changed repeatedly and was appreciated worldwide. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 the bills of 10000, 5000 and 1000 tenge accordingly were recognized the best bank notes in the world.
Nowadays the tenge is the most beautiful and protected national currency in the world. It is printed at the mint which was opened in Ust-Kamenogorsk. By the way, only Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan on the post-Soviet territory have their own banknote factories.
Certainly, the national currency of Kazakhstan has the predecessors. As it is known, the Great Silk Road played a crucial role in economic development of many countries. It served for transit of goods, ideas, cultures and religions between the East and the West. Otrar was one of the biggest cities on the Great Silk Road. This was the ancient center which has kept the history of the first money on the territory of Kazakhstan.