Issue of BALQASH ALABUǴASY collectible coins

On February 3, 2023, the National Bank of Kazakhstan issues BALQASH ALABUǴASY (The Balkhash perch) collectible coins from the ‘Flora and Fauna of Kazakhstan’ series.

The NBK official website will also be updated with information about the date of coin sales.

Remarkably, the Kazakhstani coin BALQASH ALABUǴASY debuted on 3 February 2023 in Berlin (Germany) as part of the National Bank’s participation in the World Money Fair World Money Conference of the year at the Media Forum.

Since 1971, the World Money Fair has been the largest numismatic exposition in Europe. The exhibition is attended by representatives of the mints and central banks of Japan, Australia, Italy, and Greece, as well as enterprises making coins and dealers from across the world. Since 2000, the National Bank has participated annually in the WMF.

About BALQASH ALABUǴASY collectible coins from the ‘Flora and Fauna of Kazakhstan’ series

Lake Balkhash is one of the largest lakes in Kazakhstan and the 15th largest in the world. Unlike any other lakes in the world it is consists of two parts at once: salty and fresh water. 

The Balkhash perch is one of the endemic fish inhabiting the lake. It broke away from its closest relative, the common river perch, about 5-7 million years ago. It is listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Two types of BALQASH ALABUǴASY collector’s coins are produced:

1) composed of sterling silver 925/1000 with 3D technology and ultra-high relief, weight 100 grams, diameter 50 mm, denomination 1,000 tenge, mintage 500 pieces;

2) Melchior alloy MN 25, 15 grams in weight, 33 mm in diameter, proof-like quality, 200 tenge face value, 20,000 pieces in circulation.

Collectible coins must be accepted at their face value throughout the Republic of Kazakhstan for all types of payments as well as for crediting to bank accounts and for transfer, they must be changed and exchanged in all the banks of the country.

Silver coins are issued in souvenir packaging with NBK numbered quality certificates in Kazakh, Russian and English languages.  

The collectible coins were produced at the Kazakhstan Mint.

About the significance of protecting the Balkhash perch population

The Kazakhstan Mint has a long history of producing coins commemorating Kazakhstan’s flora and fauna, including animals and plants designated in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan.

The loss of the Balkhash perch underscores once more the need of a more responsible approach to the preservation of our planet. In the future, the loss of even the smallest link in an ecosystem that took millions of years to develop can cause a global ecological disaster.

By issuing the BALQASH ALABUǴASY collectible coin, the National Bank of Kazakhstan raises awareness of the loss of the Balkhash perch and encourages a more cautious approach to Kazakhstan’s natural environment.

About the unique innovation of BALQASH ALABUǴASY collectable coin

The National Bank’s design team opted to use cutting-edge techniques when creating the BALQASH ALABUǴASY coin. A new mintage technique involving 3D ultra-high relief was tried out by the Kazakhstan Mint.

The results of the tests indicated that a prototype might be obtained with the perch head’s relief 17 mm above the coin's plane. To date, no other mint in the world has managed to duplicate these results.

To finish the coin’s design off artistically, NBK artists adjusted the vertical angle of the fish axis to 10 degrees, added ultra-high relief details, and applied a rainbow image of Balkhash perch scales to the background mirror, which caused it to ripple.

The initial tool used by the Kazakhstan Mint anticipated a single plane separation; this assumption was hampered by the applied waves, making the work more challenging. Because of this issue, Mint experts created a one-of-a-kind die-cutting tool that not only allowed for the minting of a wavy surface with the drawing of the rainbow image, but also did not hinder the separation of the finished product from the minting tool.

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