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Lahich Azerbaijan View Over Local Street traditionally dressed stood outside her shop

Exploring Azerbaijan’s currency: Understanding the manat

What is the currency of Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan’s vibrant economy is anchored by its distinct currency, the Azerbaijani manat (AZN), symbolised as ₼. Each manat is divided into 100 qəpik, mirroring how cents divide a dollar. To pronounce “qəpik” in English, you would say it as “gap-ik.”

Whether you’re a traveller planning a journey to Azerbaijan’s picturesque landscapes or a currency enthusiast, understanding the manat is essential. 

Let’s embark on this journey to discover the history of this nation’s proud currency.

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From past to present: The story of Azerbaijan’s manat

Let’s dive into the captivating history of Azerbaijan’s currency! It’s a tale that explores the nation’s political and economic journey.

Early history: Azerbaijan used the Russian ruble under the Russian Empire before the manat. Then, the nation used the Soviet ruble during the Soviet era.

First manat (1919-1923): The first manat was introduced in 1919, after the fall of the Russian Empire. However, in 1923, after becoming part of the Soviet Union, the currency was replaced by the Soviet ruble.

Second manat (1992-2006): Following the nation’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country reintroduced the manat in 1992.  

From its early days to now, the manat’s journey reflects the country’s adventures through independence, its Soviet Union chapter, and its current status as a country rich in resources and culture.

Azerbaijan manat banknote series

Azerbaijani banknotes 

The current banknotes in circulation in Azerbaijan include denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 manat.

The country’s banknotes are a beautiful representation of the country’s rich culture and history. They feature a blend of architectural wonders, notable figures, and symbols of national pride.

1 AZN: This note features traditional musical instruments, including a Tar, Kamancheh, and Daf on the front side.

5 AZN: This note charmingly showcases an image of books, a quill, and a pen. Like the other denominations, it also features a map of the nation on the back.

10 AZN: This lovely banknote captures the charm of Old Baku, highlighting the grand Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the iconic Maiden Tower, all set against the scenic backdrop of the Inner City wall.

20 AZN: On the front of this note, you’ll discover a depiction of a traditional military helmet from Nagorno-Karabakh alongside a beautifully crafted sword and shield.

50 AZN: This note charmingly showcases architectural and scientific elements on the front. Flip it over, and you’ll find a lovely map of Azerbaijan. What’s more, there’s a neat watermark featuring a spiral staircase.

100 AZN: On the front of this note is Gosha Gala Gapi (“Double Gate”). It is also known as the Paired Fortress Gates or sometimes the Shamakhi Gates and is a significant entrance to the Icherisheher section of Baku.

200 AZN: This note depicts the Heydar Aliyev Center, an architectural marvel.

500 AZN: This is the highest denomination, commemorating the 1st Anniversary of the Patriotic War of 2020. The note beautifully illustrates the Jidir Plain and the Khodaafarin Bridge, adorned with poppies. Plus, it features two soldiers hoisting a flag.

Whether you’re a currency enthusiast or keen to soak in the country’s heritage, these notes are a testament to the country’s rich and diverse narrative.

Azerbaijani coins 

As of 2023, Azerbaijan’s current coins include denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, and 50 gapiks. They are known for resembling various euro coins in size and shape. Let’s take a look at each coin:

1 Gapik: This copper coin shows a map of Azerbaijan, the country’s name, and the coin’s value, while the reverse features traditional musical instruments.

3 Gapiks:  The obverse of this copper coin displays books and a quill with the denomination above.

5 Gapiks: Admire the reeded edge and the beautiful Maiden Tower on the front, with the value just below.

10 Gapiks: The brass-plated steel coin shows a military helmet from the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with the denomination on the left.

20 Gapiks: The obverse depicts a spiral staircase and geometrical symbols, with the denomination on the left.

50 Gapiks: This bimetallic coin features two oil wells, with the denomination on the left​​.

For anyone fascinated by currency or eager to embrace Azerbaijan’s cultural legacy, these coins offer a glimpse into the nation’s vibrant and varied history.

Azerbaijan, Baku. People boating on water channels.

Unveiling Azerbaijan: captivating currency facts 

Redenomination: In 2006, Azerbaijan underwent a redenomination of its currency to combat inflation and simplify transactions. The new manat (AZN) was introduced at a rate of 5,000 old manat to 1 new manat. This move marked a significant step in stabilising and strengthening the national currency.

Smaller unit: Qəpik: Similar to cents in a dollar, the manat is subdivided into 100 qəpik. Coins come in 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, and 50 qəpik, catering to smaller transactions and providing ease of use for locals and tourists.

Currency stability: Since its redenomination, the Azerbaijani manat has been relatively stable, reflecting Azerbaijan’s growing economy, especially its development in the oil sector. The stability of the manat plays a crucial role in the country’s economic policies and international trade relationships.

Currency symbol: The symbol for the Azerbaijani manat, ₼, was introduced in 2006. It was designed by Robert Kalina, who also designed the Syrian pound and the euro. It’s based on the ancient Roman cursive version of the letter ‘M’, representing ‘manat’.


Because the currency in Azerbaijan isn’t as well known as the euro or the US dollar, many people don’t know what to look for when buying currency.

People often search for Azerbaijan manat currency when what they’re looking for is the Azerbaijani manat.

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