We visited Turkmenistan last week in our blog-ette, and this week we’ll travel over to the neighboring country of Uzbekistan to look at their 200 Sum (or Som) p80 1997 banknote.  This note has lovely bright spring colors (makes me ready for this snow to melt and the flowers to start blooming!) and shows the Uzbekistan Coat of Arms (or Emblem of Uzbekistan) as well as a stylized Lion and Sun symbol which is from the Sher-Dor (Lion Gate) Madrasah (Islamic School) of the Registan (Desert) located in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.  The note is also filled with beautiful artistic designs.

As mentioned above, the front of this note features the Uzbekistan Coat of Arms which was adopted in 1992.  In the center of the Uzbekistan Coat of Arms is the Huma bird, which is a mythical bird from Iranian legend.  According to stories this bird is both male and female and never needs to land, but spends its entire life flying in the air.  In the Coat of Arms, the bird is standing on a banner with Uzbekistan’s name and national colors of blue, gold, and green (however, on this note the entire coat of arms is depicted in navy blue).  To the left of the bird is a cotton plant which is one of Uzbekistan’s main crops, and to the right is a wheat plant symbolizing wealth and prosperity.  At the top of the Coat of Arms is an Islamic Symbol as this is the main religion of Uzbekistan.

On the back of this note is the stylized Lion and Sun Symbol which is painted on the Sher-Dor Madrasah.  This is a version of an old astronomical and astrological symbol that later became associated with Islam.  This symbol was widely used in Iran in the 12th Century.  It is said to stand for the Sun in the House of Leo (the astrological sign) which took place when the sun was at its hottest between mid-July and mid-August. Lions and Suns are often associated with gods and royalty throughout history (for example, in Ancient Egypt where Ahi the Great is called “the Lion of the Sun”; Jesus in Christianity is referred to as the “Lion of Judah”; and Muhammad in Islam is also called “the Lion of God”).  On this note the sun also has a human face inside, but I had difficulty finding a particular meaning for this – just that it was an adaptation of the original symbol.  The lion in the symbol on this note may also be a “Liger” as it does have tiger-like features as well.  Regardless, this note is quite stunning, and we hope you enjoyed learning a bit about it!

Country: Uzbekistan
Denomination: 200 Sum
Pick #: 80
Year: 1997
Grade: UNC
Coloration: Green – Multicolored
Depictions: Uzbekistan Emblem/Coat of Arms; Spirals; Stylized Lion and Sun; Intricate designs
Note Size: 5 3/4″ x 3″
Continent: Asia and the Middle East
Watermark: Uzbekistan Crest