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The Heart Of Samarkand: 50 Som (Uzbekistan, 1994)-Article

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

This colorful Uzbek banknote represents the 6th 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 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 in designed in the Turko-Persian style, resembling an that of a grand mosque. The center features a large ornate design, which the National Emblem rests.

Beneath the National Emblem is the text "50 ЭЛЛИК СЎМ", representing the note's 50 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".

To the note's left is an elaborate mosaic pattern. At its top is one of the note's dual-serial numbers, it reads "PW2638983". 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 spade-shaped 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 "50" The note's second serial number can be seen overprinted over the bottom of the frame.

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


The reverse features the three Madrasahs of the Registan, in Samarkand. The Registan served as the public square of Samarkand. Where royal proclamations were declared to the cities citizens. Which gathered after being called by massive copper pipes called dzharchis. The square was regaured as the center of the Timurid Renaissance.

While the illustration covers the majority of the reverse, there are some notable details. The header reads, "ЭЛЛИК СЎМ", representing the note's "Fifty 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". Besides this footer is a pair of text panels with the number "50"s.

An additional number "50" 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 standard 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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