The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) has begun entering its new “Saka style” banknotes into circulation with the issuance new 5,000 tenge and 10,000 tenge notes. 

The 5,000 tenge note was the first in the “Saka style” series to be put into circulation on December 25, 2023. The new 10,000 tenge note was put into circulation on June 28, 2024, and will reach mass circulation a few months later, in September. Both denominations are printed on paper and belong to the Series year 2023. 

As we explained in our preview of this new series, the unique “Saka style” design reflects the heritage, history, and culture of Kazakhstan. The imagery conveys the perspectives of distant ancestors and their connection with the country’s terrain and wildlife. In fact, each denomination is dedicated to a specific animal found in Kazakhstan.  

Another notable change with the Saka style notes is that they are smaller in size than those in previous series. Research has shown that smaller banknotes are more convenient for counting, transporting, and storing, the NBK explains.  

A closer look at the Saka style 5,000 tenge note 

The 5,000 tenge banknote measures 140mm x 70mm, and its design celebrates the Golden Eagle. 

Saka style 5,000 Tenge Banknote 

The visual design of this note features the following illustrations and symbols: 

Front side: 

  • A branch of the “Tree of Life” with a hovering bird. 
  • A gold eagle-shaped ornament. 
  • DNA spiral and a stylized ornament symbolizing infinity.  

Back side 

  • A golden eagle against a background of a stylized ornamented shield. 
  • A golden ornament depicting an eagle spreading its wings. 
  • The Charin Canyon incorporated into the stylized ornamented infinity symbol. 

A closer look at the Saka style 10,000 tenge note 

The 10,000 tenge banknote measures 145mm x 70mm, and its design celebrates the leopard. 

Saka style 10,000 Tenge Banknote 

The visual design of this note features the following illustrations and symbols: 

Front side: 

  • A leopard on a mountain peak.  
  • A branch of the “Tree of Life” with a soaring bird and the Golden Man’s headdress. 
  • A DNA spiral and an infinity symbol stylized as an ornament. 

Back side: 

  • A leopard with a stylized ornamental shield in the background.  
  • A circular Kazakh ornament behind the main image.  
  • The head of a leopard with griffins in its jaws. (A griffin is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion, and the head and wings of an eagle with its talons on the front legs.) 
  • In the center of the banknote, as a background, is the outline of the Kazakh “infinity” ornament depicting the landscape view of the Zailiysky Alatau mountains. 

Advanced security features 

The NBK states that the Saka style notes also represent “a significant revision…to the protective complex of banknotes, incorporating the most advanced technologies in banknote production and utilizing the latest security features alongside traditional methods of banknote protection, such as offset and deep intaglio printing.”  

Additionally, the front side of both banknotes have raised diagonal lines to help visually impaired consumers identify each note’s denomination. 

What will happen to the older banknotes in these denominations? 

5,000 tenge and 10,000 tenge notes from the previous series will remain in circulation for two years from the issuance date of the new notes. During that period, the older notes will remain valid as legal tender, but consumers may also exchange them at Kaz-Post Offices and banks. The older notes will be gradually removed from circulation. After their two-year “expiration date,” the old notes will not be legal tender but may be redeemed at the national bank for an indefinite period. 


National Bank of Kazakhstan  

The Astana Times 

MRI Bankers’ Guide to Foreign Currency 



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