The currency of the Kyrgyz Republic, the som is sub-divided into 100 tyiyns.

The ISO 4217 currency code for the Kyrgyzstan currency-som is KGS.

Endeavours were made by most democracies to sustain a common currency after the downfall of the Soviet Union. Politicians hoped to at the very least keep "special relations" amidst former Soviet democracies. Economic concerns for preserving the ruble zone were another reasons to support a common currency. However, the most important goal to preserve the currency was the wish to protect and maintain the strong trade relations between former Soviet republics.

Introduced on May 10, 1993, the som substituted the Soviet ruble with a valuation of 1 som = 200 rubles. Only banknotes were issued in the initial phases. Coins were introduced in 2008.


The speakers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan called the Russian ruble- som in the Soviet Union meetings. The same name appeared on the backside of banknotes and also on the documents for the assessment of the bill in all of the 15 official languages of the Soviet Union.

In Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek as well as in many other Turkic languages the word som means "pure" and is sometimes transliterated as "sum" or "soum". It signifies "pure gold".

Coins in Kyrgyzstan

The introduction of the coins came with an increasing demand from vendors for coins, particularly from the slot machine manufacturers and those soliciting a more dynamic system for obtaining fare money.

Issued in denominations of 10 and 50 tyiyns, the coins made of brass-plated steel came with a valuation of 1, 3 and 5 soum. Issued a year later, in 2009, the nickel-plated steel coins valued 10 soum. The coins were stamped by the Kazakhstan mint in Ust-Kamenogorsk and bore a likeness to the coins of the Soviet Russian Federation in their design, look, characteristics and structure. You can also come across several dedicatory non-circulation coins made of gold and silver. The special collector's issue of brass 1 tyiyn coin is a well-known souvenir.


The government issued tyiyn notes of values 1, 10 and 50soum. On 10 May 1993, the Kyrgyzstan Bank published notes for 1, 5 and 20 som. The Kyrgyz Bank announced a second series of notes in 1994, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 soum. From 1997 onwards the third series of Kyrgyz banknotes followed in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 som. Later in 2009 and 2010, the fourth series of currency notes were issued in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 5000 soum.