The currency that’s legally in use currently is the So’m (also Sum, Soum). It is in circulation in Uzbekistan since 1994 when it was first introduced, and the currency code in ISO 4217 is UZS. The word “Sum” means pure in Kyrgyz and Uzbek language which implies pure gold.
After getting independence from Soviet Republic, it continued using Ruble, the currency of Russia, for some period of time which was changed from time to time. The Ruble was then replaced by So’m when it was first issued as a transitional currency in 1993. The first banknotes were issued by Bank of Uzbekistan and there were no coins available at that time. In 1994, a second So’m was introduced which was equal to 1000 old So’m. The new So’m also got subdivided into 100 tiyin.
The inflation period saw the value of So’m tumble and gradually decrease in value as compared to US Dollars. The rampant inflation is considered a political sensitive issue in Uzbekistan.
Currently, there are bank notes of following denominations: 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 2000. The main cultural and historical symbols are depicted on the notes and all the notes differ from one another in color. The denominations below 100 and the coins are either not in circulation or are very rare.
The Uzbekistan So’m became a convertible currency after 2004 and can be exchanged against other approved currencies at any exchange office. Though US Dollars and Euros are accepted at every other currency exchange center, other currencies can be exchanged only at offices located within a bank. Most of the exchange offices in hotels are open 24X7 while those outside of it or in public places follow the regular office timing that is 9 AM to 4PM.
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