Didn’t know this at all.
Niccole Braynen-Kimani of IMF point to Kazakhstan currency Tenge winning many awards for its design:
Many countries claim that their currency is appealing, but Kazakhstan has awards to back it up. In the two decades since the country introduced its own currency, the Kazakhstani tenge has won four first places and one runner-up in contests for the world’s prettiest banknotes.
Kazakhstan declared its independence in December 1991, the last of the former Soviet republics to do so. But it did not create its own currency until two years later. It was still using the ruble in July 1993 when Russia abruptly issued a new national currency and old Soviet banknotes flooded Kazakhstan, driving up prices and creating shortages of products. To regain control of its economy, Kazakhstan issued its own currency in November 1993, at a rate of 500 rubles to the tenge.
The look of the national currency changed several times after 1993, and in 2006 the National Bank of Kazakhstan launched a new series that also became recognized as one of the most secure in the world. Designed by Mendybay Alin, the central bank’s senior designer, the series was intended to reflect the young country’s growing self-confidence, a link between its past and future. The vertical orientation of the notes was dictated by the inclusion of the Bayterek tower in the new capital city of Astana. “Bayterek” comes from a Kazakhstani legend and means “tree of life.” The notes in the Bayterek series also include an open palm to show the country’s openness to the world, Alin says.
Check the pictures in the article. The currency indeed looks like those colored postcards..
Fiat currency for all its limitations does get some artists fired up…