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Map of Uzbekistan, denomination left Script: Latin Lettering: 10 SOʻM

2001 Uzbekistan 10 Soʻm

An elegant coin from a doubly-landlocked country.

National Coat of Arms, date below

Script: Latin


Translation: Central Bank of Uzbekistan


The land that is now Uzbekistan was once at the heart of the ancient Silk Road trade route connecting China with the Middle East and Rome.

The country came under Russian control in the 19th Century, and emerged as an independent state when Soviet rule ended in 1991.

While the majority of countries have at least some coastline on an ocean or sea, there are 44 countries which don’t – they are landlocked. An interesting aside as I read that article – ten of those landlocked countries actually have naval forces.

Uzbekistan, along with Lichtenstein, are the only two recognised countries in the world which are double-landlocked. That is, all of the countries which surround them, are themselves landlocked. In the case of Uzbekistan, those countries are Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

The So’m was introduced in 1993, replacing the Soviet Union’s Ruble at par. Som is the Uzbek term for ruble which means “pure”. Due to inflation, the first Soʻm was replaced in 1994 at a rate of 1 new to 1,000 old Soʻm. Even now, 1 US Dollar is worth 12,500 So’m.


The text around the edge of the obverse reads “OʻZBEKISTON MARKAZIY BANKI”. This translates as “Central Bank of Uzbekistan”. The date is at the bottom.

The main design on the obverse is the national emblem:

“The new state emblem of the Republic of Uzbekistan was created to reflect the many centuries of experience of the Uzbek people.

The state emblem of the Republic presents the image of the rising sun over a flourishing valley. Two rivers run through the valley, representing the Syrdarya and Amudarya. The emblem is bordered by wheat on the right side and branches of cotton with opened cotton bolls on the left side.

The eight-angle star is at the top of the emblem, symbolizing the unity and confirmation of the republic. The crescent and star inside the eight-pointed star are the sacred symbols of Islam. The mythical bird Semurg with outstretched wings is placed in the center of the emblem as the symbol of the national Renaissance. The entire composition aims to express to desire of the Uzbek people for peace, happiness and prosperity. At the bottom of the emblem inscribed the word “Uzbekistan” written in Uzbek on a ribbon in the national colors of the flag.”


Map of Uzbekistan, denomination left Script: Latin Lettering: 10 SOʻM

The reverse of the coin features the value 10 Soʻm, with three diagonal stripes behind the map of the country. I think it is a simple and elegant design.

The design reminds me of the design of Euro coins. Here is a 10 Euro cent coin showing the map with (vertical) lines behind, and a 1 Euro cent coin with diagonal stripes behind a globe:

10 Euro cent reverse:
A map, next to the face value, symbolizes the gathering of the 15 nations of the European Union

Script: Latin

Lettering: 10 EURO CENT LL

Engraver: Luc Luycx

1 Euro cent reverse: A globe, next to the face value, shows Europe in relation to Africa and Asia.

Script: Latin


Engraver: Luc Luycx

I haven’t found an official explanation of the design, but it may have been inspired by the Euro coins which were officially introduced that year. Uzbekistan is ranked the world’s 66th poorest country, so aspiring their currency to look like the Euro would be understandable.

One interesting aspect of the coin is that the map is wrong. In fact it is wrong on 99% of coins, and isn’t a valuable error. Numista shows a comparison of the correct, and incorrect maps:

Map of Uzbekistan, denomination left Script: Latin Lettering: 10 SOʻM






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