Paper Money

Azerbaijan unveils next series of notes with latest technology, innovations

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has begun the process of updating the design and protection of its bank notes. Shown is the new 5-manat note.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.

After a lapse of 14 years, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan has begun the process of updating the design and protection of its bank notes.

An Oct. 20 announcement said that the 1-, 5-, and 50-manat denominations will be revised “with application of the latest technologies and innovations within the existing concept.” In other words, when the notes begin circulating on Jan. 1, 2021, they will be recognizable second generation counterparts in theme, size, and color to the versions they will eventually replace. The old ones will remain legal tender. A noticeable difference with earlier issues is that the backs are all in a vertical format.

Azerbaijan has seven circulating denominations the 1-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-manat notes. One manat is equal to 59 U.S. cents.

The 120- by 70-millimeter 1-manat note is gray in color with a theme of culture. It has Azerbaijani folk music instruments on its face and ornaments of ancient Azerbaijani carpets on the back.

The 5-manat note’s theme is writing and literature. It is orange and measures 127 by 70 millimeters in size with a quill pen and books on the face, along with an excerpt from the national anthem and letters from the modern Azerbaijani alphabet. The back has rock drawings in the Gobustan State Historical and Cultural Reserve and samples of old Turkic script.

The yellow 50-manat note measures 148 by 70 millimeters in dimensions with a message of history and the future. The face shows youth, a staircase symbolizing progress, the sun as a representation of force and light, and mathematical symbols representing science. Designs from ancient Azerbaijani carpets are on the back of the note.

The 200-manat note was issued in 2018. No dates have been announced for revisions to the other denominations.

A map of the country, a former Soviet republic on the Caspian Sea, is in the center of the back of all notes in the series.

There is an explanation for the stylistic similarity the Azerbaijan notes have to the euro. They were both designed by Robert Kalina, the Austrian designer whose “T 382” proposal was selected by the Council of the European Monetary Institute on Dec. 3, 1996, as the model for the new euro currency.

He has also designed the 2010 series for Syria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 200-convertible-mark note of 2002.

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