Situated in Central Asia, the Republic of Uzbekistan is a double-landlocked nation in the middle of five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan is home to Islamic architecture and grandiose mosques and mausoleums. Located in the heart of the Silk Road, the country’s city, Samarkand, had been an important stop in the trade route between the Mediterranean and China. The Uzbekistan Som is the official currency of Uzbekistan. It was introduced on November 15, 1993, replacing the Soviet Union’s ruble at par. The som is the Uzbek term for ruble which means “pure”.
First Uzbekistan Som Banknotes
Uzbekistan’s first Som banknotes were printed by Harrison & Sons in the United Kingdom. As these notes were being printed by ink-jet, the height and format of some serial numbers varied. On the obverse of these paper bills is the coat of arms of Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, the back depicts the Sher-Dor Madrasah of Registan in Samarkand. Although they share the same design on the front and back, these notes are in various colors and sizes.
2nd Generation of Banknotes
On July 1, 1994, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan Republic introduced the second som at a rate of 1 new som to 1,000 old som. Banknotes issued at the time were produced domestically by the government printing plant in Tashkent using machines supplied by Harrison & Sons. This explains why they have Cyrillic text printed on the note while the serial number prefixes are in Latin. A common element to these banknotes is also the national emblem on their obverse side. Their reverse, on the other hand, features a monument, a mausoleum, a building, or a national identity.
Between 2013 and 2019, larger denomination Uzbekistan Som notes begin to circulate, starting from the 5,000 som banknote which is the first note in Latin. In addition, it was followed by the 10,000, 50,000, and 100,000 som banknotes. These paper bills have Latin-based Uzbek inscriptions, unlike the previous issues that have Uzbek Cyrillic text.