Uzbekistan - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Uzbekistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan has a total land area of 172,742 square miles and a population of around 27.6 million. Uzbekistan, a double landlocked country, is mostly covered with deserts and mountains with some arable land. It has a rich supply of gold, uranium, potassium, coal, and natural gas. Cotton is the biggest export of Uzbekistan. As the government tightly controls the economy, foreign investors are not keen on investing in Uzbekistan. With world market prices remaining high for gold, cotton, and natural gas, its foreign exchange reserves are at an all-time high.


Travel Resources:

March through November is a good time to visit Uzbekistan with July and August being the peak season. Those with a passion for history, archeology, and ancient architecture will love visiting this country. The major attraction of the place is Samarand (World Heritage Site). Samarkand is often rightfully referred to as ‘one of the pearls of the east’. Other attractions are Khiva, Bukhara, Tashkent, Kyzyl Kum Nature Reserve, Aydar Lake, and Chatkalsky Reserve. As it has some of the highest mountains, there are many opportunities at all levels for trekking, skiing, mountain climbing, ice climbing, rafting, and cave exploring. Tashkent is an ideal starting point for these activities. Uzbekistan is also popular among pilgrims and is also a player in dental tourism. Bread, noodles, and mutton are the staples of their meal. Plov (rice, fried carrots, onion, and meat), shurpa (soup of mutton and fresh vegetables), kebabs, somsa, chuchvara (deep fried stuffed dough pockets) are typical traditional dishes.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Uzbekistan: The Golden Road to Samarkand978-9622177956$19Best guide book for Uzbekistan. Includes sections on history, religion and culture along with up-to-date practical information for the traveler. Detailed plans of principal sites, 108 full-color photos and 23 maps.
Lonely Planet Central Asia Multi Country Guide978-1741791488$22Covers Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan coverage is around 85 pages.
Uzbekistan Map by International Travel Maps978-1553414551$11Inset maps of downtown Tashkent and Samarkand.
Uzbekistan Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FD877E$8



Philatelic Profile:

The first stamp of Uzbekistan was a stamp released on May 7, 1992 showing a portrait of Princess Nadira. The stamp (Scott #1) is inexpensive and catalogs for around 30c MNH or used. A few other stamps showing local scenes followed and they all can be had for about the same price range. A set of seven stamps and a souvenir sheet showing Fauna was also issued and that set (Scott #7 to #13 and #14) catalogs for around $3 MNH or used. Russian Empire began expanding into Central Asia in the nineteenth century and the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was formally established on October 27, 1924. Uzbekistan declared independence from the Soviet Union on August 31, 1991.

Uzbekistan released a couple of sets in 1993 and 1995 respectively that were overprints on Russian issues. Those sets (Scott #15 to #29 and #61A to #61F) are sought after and catalogs for around $30 and $10 respectively for MNH or used.

Other issues of Uzbekistan enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of four stamps and two souvenir sheets released in 1997 showing sites on Silk Road. The set (Scott #146 to #149 and #150 to #151) catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The designs show Ancient Citadel and Tomb of Ismail Samani in Bukhara, Minaret and Fortress Wall in Khiva, and souvenir sheets showing Mosque at Bukhara and Minaret at Khiva. As trade flourished during China’s silk trade with the West, cities such as Bukhara and Samarqand prospered and became very wealthy.
  2. A long set of twenty two stamps and labels showing European Bank Annual Meeting inscription and symbol released on May 4, 2003 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #350 to #371) catalogs for around $55 MNH or used. The designs show National Bank at Tashkent, Kaltaminor Minaret at Khiva, Gumbazi Sayyidon Mausoleum at Shahrisabz, Go’ri Amir Mausoleum at Samarqand, Chorminor Madrasasi at Bukhara, Registon at Samarqand, Aloqabank at Tashkent, President Karimov and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Jean Lemierre, Islamkhodja Minaret at Khiva, East Gates at Khiva, Samanid Museum at Bukhara, Ark at Bukhara, and women’s traditional dresses.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Uzbekistan were Republic Standard Coinage (100 Tiyin = 1 Som) brass clad steel Tiyins issued in 1994 showing Arms within wreath below stars in Obverse and Value, Date, and Sprigs in Reverse. The first issues have high mintage and catalog for well under a dollar in UNC.

Numismatic items of Uzbekistan include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNC Tiyins starts around $1. High Value UNCs, Year Sets, etc start around $10. Silver Coins, 100 pieces of the first series in UNC, etc start around $50 and go into the $100 range.
Paper Money$2 and upCommon UNC Soms starts around $2. Consecutive Serial Number UNCs with 5-pieces or more, Year Sets, etc start around $10. Bundles and Early Rare Notes start around $50 and go into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Decorative ceramics, figurines, tapestries, embroidery works, lace, jewelry, miniature yurt, and Uzbek dolls in traditional costumes are some of the popular keepsakes from this country.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Craft$5 and upEmbroidered Flag Patches start around $5. Hand Knitted Merino Wool Caps start around $20.
Art$10 and upEx Libris Art and vintage local scenes and political photos start around $10. Rinconada Ceramic Figurines start around $50. Original works by Villalba Quinteros, Jose Enrique, Jorge Dumas, Emanuel Sela, Lincoln Presno, etc go well into the 100s.
Antiques$5 and up19th century maps start around $5. Older maps Colonial Santos etc go well into the 100s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$10 and up19th century local scenes postcards start around $10. Vintage 50s chocolate cards showing entertainers start around $15. St John Honor Crosses, Natural Amethyst Crystal Clusters, Catholic School Gilt Medals, etc start around $30. 1940s vintage beer posters, themed lithographs on vintage lunch boxes, WW Airforce Captain Kepis, Shako Helmets, etc go well into the 100s.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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