10 interesting facts about Kyrgyz national currency

February 9th, 2015 Sections: Economy
Kyrgyz banknotes - printed in a rainbow of colours

Kyrgyz banknotes – printed in a rainbow of colours

The other day I was sent a link to a page on the Akchabar financial portal website.

The Akchabar project is operated by the Public Fund, Internet Innovation.  It began in October 2013, as a service to provide consumers with access to financial information and improve financial literacy among the population.

In fact, there have been quite a few initiatives with this aim with various newspapers and websites offering articles on financial topics.

To this end, they have created tools comparing loans and deposits, a comparison between different money transfer systems operating in the Kyrgyz Republic and a series of articles and a glossary.  The link I received was to one of those: 10 interesting facts about Kyrgyz national currency.

Now, I have written before about the som banknotes – especially the security features employed against forgeries, but some of the points seemed somewhat surprising … for example that coins and banknotes seem to have a similar lifespan.

The article is in Russian, so I thought it might be interesting to present the information in English.

Kyrgyz banknotes are made from 100% cotton – not paper.  Cotton is better than paper as it is more resistant; paper will tear after about 80 folds, whereas cotton will survive up to about 5000, this strength gives it a lifespan of up to five years.

Coins have a similar lifespan – between five and eight years.   The “silver” coins, (1, 3, 5 and 10 som coins) are made from nickel and steel, whereas the “bronze” coins (1, 10 and 50 tyiyn coins) – steel and brass.

Kyrgyzstan’s coins are minted in Kazakhstan but the banknotes are produced from a wider range of geographical locations.

The “cotton paper” used for the Kyrgyz banknotes is produced in Britain and France, where various security features such as the watermarks and security threads are incorporated in the finished product.

The banknotes are printed in France and Malta … and more security features are added – using holograms, “relief printing” and special iridescent ink in the printing process.

The 5000 som note was nominated for an award in 2010 – in the international competition Banknote of the year.

A magnified image of Osmonov from the 200 som note

A magnified image of Osmonov from the 200 som banknote

In the latest series of banknotes – the fourth series – introduced in 2009, the portraits are not just drawings or photographs … but are made up from text – the names of the person being depicted.

There are also animals depicted on the banknotes.

The embossed 5000 from the 5000 som banknote

The embossed 5000 from the 5000 som banknote

One of the security features used is raised printing – such as the embossed figure 5000 in the bottom left hand corner of the 5000 som banknote.

The banknotes are printed in a range of different colours to make them easy to identify.

 

 

 

 

 

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There is one comment. to “10 interesting facts about Kyrgyz national currency”

  1. Guest
    February 19th, 2015 at 18:57
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    Спасибо за перевод публикации на английский RT 10 interesting facts about Kyrgyz national currency

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