A Monument To The Great Chieftain: 500 Som (Uzbekistan, 1999)-Article

Updated: Feb 3

This large colorful Uzbek banknote represents the 9th denomination of the Second Som (Series 1994). The Second Som was introduced on 1 July 1994. It was preceded by the transitional First Som, which replaced the Soviet Ruble at par (1:1), on November 15, 1993. The exchange rate was a substantial 1,000 "Old" to 1 "New Som. Due to high inflation of the post-1991 Soviet Ruble.

As constant inflation has been an issue since the adoption of the Second So'm. Uzbekistan adds new and retires old denominations, based on long-term inflation. The 500 So'm note was added in 1 June 2000, to alleviate citizens from having to carry larger amounts of lower value notes. It forms an extension to the original Series 1994. The 500 So'm was demonetized on 1 July 2020.


The observe depicts the National Emblem of Uzbekistan, on an ornate background. The emblem features the mythical Khumo, a large bird said to endlessly soar above the earth. The Khumo is said to be compassionate and a bringer of good fortune. Making it somewhat similar to the ancient Chinese Fenghuang.

To the lower-left of the National Emblem is the text "500 СЎМ", representing the note's 500 So'm face value. The note's header above reads (trans.) "Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan". While the footer below reads, "The Uzbek So‘m must be accepted at face value, for all payments in the republic".

Surrounding the beforementioned text is a complex underprint and embellishments. Islamic Rub el Hizb (8-pointed stars) symbols can be seen within the underprint. The star nearest to the emblem is a hidden registration element. Backlighting it will complete the pattern. Additionally, below the National Emblem is one of the note's dual-serial numbers, it reads "DJ1705255".

To the far-right is the note's watermark area. At the top of the watermark area is a gold leaf ornament. Above it is the note's "1999" print date. While below is the second serial number and a large number "500". The micro-text below this number, repeats the footer text.

The note's watermark depicts the National Emblem of Uzbekistan.


The reverse features the Statue of Amir Temur (Tamerlane), in Tashkent. Dedicated to the conqueror Tamerlane, founder of the Timurid Dynasty. Who was an undefeated general and reign introduced the Timurid Renaissance. His remains are interned at the Gur-e-Amir (Tomb of the King), in Samarkand. Which is colorfully depicted on the 10 So'm note (1994).

While the illustration and underprint covers the majority of the reverse, there are some notable details. The lower-right reads, "500 СЎМ", representing the note's "Five Hundred So'm value. The footer features a counterfeit warning it reads (trans.), "Counterfeiting of the Uzbek So‘m is prosecuted in accordance to the law". Along the upper-right is the positive of the observe registration element.

The watermark area to the note's left, is somewhat sparse. The upper design is ornate, with a triple Rub el Hizb symbol. The design on the lower portion is more complex, with a large number "500". A pair of stylized peacocks can be seen beneath this number.

Retired Second So'm Gallery

(Gallery contains all currently retired Second So'm banknotes)


Additional Notes

  • This notes dimensions are 145 x 77 mm or 5.70 x 3.03 in, larger than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are large sized protective sleeves.

  • The Second So'm ISO code is UZS, it uses сум as it official symbol.

  • The Second So'm is subdivided into 100 Tyin, although inflation has made it obsolete.

  • Banknotes valued from 1-25 So'm were demonetized, on 1 March 2020.

  • Banknotes valued from 50-100 So'm were demonetized, on 1 July 2019.

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