British Museum collections, £12.99
Width: 142.000 mm
Height: 69.000 mm
Gift of St. John Simpson
Coins and Medals
5 sum note
Republic of Uzbekistan, AD 1994
Rediscovering a national identity
Early in the twentieth century some of the regions that now make up the nation of Uzbekistan in Central Asia issued their own paper money. As with other republics, this ceased when they became part of the USSR in the 1920s. With the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1992, the constituent states regained their autonomy. The Uzbek Soviet Republic achieved full independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In such circumstances, national currency is an excellent vehicle for proclaiming a distinct identity, and in common with other newly independent states, the Republic of Uzbekistan began issuing its own banknotes. The intricate designs on this note of 1994 contrast strongly with Soviet issues. They clearly mark a return to an older Islamic tradition, recalling the bright colours and rich patterns on earlier notes of Bukhara and Khorezm, areas now part of Uzbekistan.
A. Pick, N. Shafer and C.K. Bruce (eds.), Standard catalog of world pape (Iola, Wisconsin, annual publication)
J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)