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A Monument To The Mystic Poet: 5 So'm (Uzbekistan, 1994)-Article

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

This colorful Uzbek banknote represents the 3rd 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.

Notably the banknotes of the Series 1994 are highly ornate. Although follow a basic format, with the National Emblem on the observe. While the reverse depicts one of Uzbekistan's famous landmark. This practice continued until the adoption of the current Series 2021.


The observe subtlly depicts the National Emblem of Uzbekistan. It 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.

The observe can be divided into 3 district sections, with the center forming the core. The underprint is designed in the Turko-Persian style and resembles the iwan (vaulted entrance) of a grand mosque. A pair of Simurgh can be seen flanking the National Emblem. The Simurgh is Persian in origin and is often associated with the similar Turkic Khumo.

Between the 2 Simurgh is the text "5 БЕШ СЎМ", representing the note's 5 So'm face value. The note header above reads (trans.) "Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan". While the footer below reads (trans.), "The Uzbek So‘m must be accepted at face value, for all payments in the republic". A pair of number "5"s can be seen besides the footer.

To the note's left is an elaborate mosaic, featuring floral patterns. At its top is one of the note's dual-serial numbers, it reads "LS4605119". To the far-right is the note's watermark area. At the top of the watermark area is an ornate frame. It feature a subtle unprinted area, which functions as part of a registration element. Backlighting it fills in this unprinted space.

Below the note's "1994" print date be seen above an ornate frame. This frame It features a stylized number "5", resting on a green backing. The note's second serial number can be seen overprinted over the bottom of the frame.

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


The reverse features an illustration of the Alisher Navoi Monument, in Tashkent. The poet Ali-Shir Nava'i (1441-1501) is best known for Chagatai (Turkic) literature. The monument is located in the center of Alisher Navoi Park. It features a statue of Alisher Navoi is beneath a turquoise dome, supported by 8 white stone pillars. The park was founded by members of Komsomol, in 1932.

While the illustration covers the majority of the reverse, there are some notable details. A small footer is featured at the bottom of the illustration. It features a counterfeit warning that reads (trans.), "Counterfeiting of the Uzbek So‘m is prosecuted in accordance to the law". Besides this footer is a pair of number "5"s, representing the note's beforementioned Five So'm face value.

An additional number "5" can be seen on the lower-left corner. It rests on an elaborate backing, its style resembles illustration's frame. At the upper-left corner is an elaborate embellishment. Its center forms the positive of the observe registration element.

1994 Second Som Gallery

(Gallery contains all Series 1994 banknotes)


Additional Notes

  • This notes dimensions are 142 x 70 mm or 5.59 x 2.76 in, wider than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are large protective sleeves, cut to size.

  • 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.

  • Uzbekistan adds new and retires old banknotes based on long-term inflation.

  • 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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