The Turkmenistan manat is the monetary unit in the country of Turkmenistan. This has replaced the Russian ruble. This was first launched in the 1st of November, 1993. The ruble and the manat are not of the same value; 1 manat, in fact, is equivalent to 500 Russian Rubles. The symbol for the said currency during this time is “m”; however, when the new manat was launched in January 2009, the currency code was changed into “TMT”. The value between the old and the new manat are also not the same, with a single new manat equivalent to 5000 old ones.
The word manat originally came from the Russians and means coin. The coins issued in 1993 came in 1, 5, 10, 20, as well as 50 denominations and are called tennesi. In 1999, two more coins were issued – the 500 and 1000 manat. All these were made of either copper-plated steel (for the coins with low value) or nickel-plated steel (for higher-value coins).
In the issuance of the new manat in 2009, the old manat coinage was replaced with a new one. Along with the old coin denominations, a 2-tenge denomination was likewise introduced. Bi-metallic coins of 1 and 2-manat values were issued in the following year. By this time, printing of all forms of the manat currency was done by the Royal Mint.
Like any other currency, for consolidation purposes, Manat bills were also produced. Denominated in seven faces, Manat bills feature the portraits of Saparmurat Niyazov, Ashgabat, Ahmed Sanjar, Oghuz Khan and Magtymguly Pyragy; these are all known personalities from the country of Turkmenistan.
It is interesting to note that there are two values of manat recognized by people. One is its official rate, the other is its worth in the black market, which has been said to be greater than the official rate by about 21%.
Turkmenistan is one of the independent Turkic States. Like the countries surrounding it, natural gas is the main resource available in the country. This has helped the country in the world industry through export. The country is mainly a big desert which produces substantial oil resources. Aside from this, the country is one also one of the largest cotton exporter in the world.