Uzbekistani So’m

Oʻzbek soʻmi / Ўзбек сўми

The so’m was the currency of Uzbekistan from 1993 to 1994. It was meant to be a transitional currency, between the Soviet/Russian ruble and the new Uzbek so’m.


In the Soviet Union, speakers of Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek called the ruble the som, and this name appeared written on the back of banknotes, among the texts for the value of the bill in all 15 official languages of the Union. The word som (sometimes transliterated “sum” or “soum”) means “pure” in Kyrgyz, Uyghur and Uzbek, as well as in many other Turkic languages. The word implies “pure gold”.


No subdivisions were issued of the transitional currency.


Like other republics of the former Soviet Union, Uzbekistan continued using the Soviet/Russian ruble after independence. On 26 July 1993, a new series of Russian ruble was issued and the old Soviet/Russian ruble ceased to be legal tender in Russia. Some successor states had their national currencies before the change, some chose to continue using the pre-1993 Soviet/Russian ruble, and some chose to use both the pre-1993 and the new Russian ruble. Uzbekistan replaced the ruble with soʻm at par in on November 15, 1993.

On 1 July 1994, a second som was introduced at a rate of 1 new soʻm = 1000 old soʻm.


No coins were issued for the first soʻm.


The first banknotes were issued by the State Bank of Uzbekistan in 1993 in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 soʻm. Because it was meant to be a transitional currency, the design was rather simplistic. All notes had the Coat of arms on obverse, and Sher-Dor Madrasah of the Registan in Samarkand on reverse.

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