After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 the former members first sought to maintain a common currency to keep strong trade among themselves. However due to varying interests and a newfound national identity everyone eventually went their own way and established their own national currencies. Read along to learn about the Kyrgyzstan Som and new banknote releases for 2023.

Kyrgyzstan 1 Tyiyn | 1993 | Source: Banknote World

In 1993 Kyrgyzstan introduced their own, newly independent Som currency. Kyrgyzstan and a neighboring country have their own independent currency but, they share the name, Som. The first series (1993) of banknotes ranged from 1, 10, 50 Tyiyn which were the smallest denominations and 1, 5, 20 Som which as the largest. The Kyrgyzstan 1 Tyiyn, 1993 is colored in red and white. The obverse side shows a golden eagle atop solar beams. The reverse side features an image of the coat of arms.

Kyrgystan 1 Som | 1994 ND | Source: Banknote World

The second series followed in denominations from 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Som and they featured notable people on the front while the reverse featured musical instruments, buildings, and infrastructure. An example is the Kyrgystan 1 Som, 1994 depicts composer Abdylas Maldybaev. The reverse features Kyrgyz musical instrument called komuz and kylkyak. It also shows the Kyrgyz State Philharmonic Hall building.

Kyrgyzstan 1,000 Som | 2000 | Source: Banknote World

New updated banknotes would later be released from 1997-2005 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Som with bigger denominations credited to inflation in the country. They feature the same overall design structure but, with added colors and security features to prevent counterfeiting. The Kyrgyzstan 1,000 Som from 2000 features Balasagyn, an 11th-century Central statesman, vizier, Maturidi theologian, and philosopher Balasaghun, the capital Kara-Khanid Khanate in modern-day Kyrgyzstan on the obverse side. Meanwhile, the reverse Sulaiman, an ancient architectural monument, as Mountain of Sulaiman.

Kyrgyzstan 50 Som | 2016 | Source: Banknote World

The fourth series of Som banknotes ran from 2009 – 2016. With denominations ranging from 20 – 5000 Som. It was redesigned with more security features and a more solid color scheme to distinguish it from the previous generation. A good example is the Kyrgyzstan 50 Som from 2016. Its obverse shows Czarina Kurmanjan as Tsaritsa of or South, a stateswoman in Kyrgyzstan acquiesced to the annexation of to Russia. The reverse features an 11th-century architectural complex minaret and a mausoleum.

Kyrgyzstan 1,000 Som | 2023 | Source: Kyrgyz Bank

On April 28, 2023 the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic announced that 3 new Som banknotes would begin to circulate on May 10, 2023. This will be the fifth series of Som banknotes. This banknote release coincides with the 30 year anniversary (1993-2023) of the introduction of the Kyrgyzstan Som. The new denominations are 200, 500, 1000 Som. They feature the same cultural, historical and design elements as before but, with a new modern design and updated security features. The grey 1,000 Som features a portrait of Yūsuf Balasaguni on the oberse. The reverse side shows the Takhti Sulaiman monument with the Sulaiman Mountains on the reverse side.

Kyrgyzstan 500 Som | 2023 | Source: Kyrgyz Bank

The purple 500 Som features a portrait of Sayakbay Karalaev same as the 4th series. While the reverse side shows an image of the Manas Ordo mausoleum. Lastly the yellow 200 Som shows a portrait of Alykul Osmonov on the oberse while the reverse shows Issyk Kul lake and an excerpt from his writing.

Kyrgyzstan 200 Som | 2023 | Source: Kyrgyz Bank


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