The national currency is among the main attributes of the state independence. The state has the sovereign right to issue its own banknotes in the form of paper banknotes, treasury notes and coins.  

The portraits of famous historical figures, who made an invaluable contribution to the historical and cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan, which remain unchanged till present, are depicted on front side of the banknotes. There are architectural landmarks of Kyrgyzstan on the reverse side.  

A portrait of a composer Abdylas Maldybaev is depicted on the front side of a banknote with denomination of 1 Som and there is Toktogul Satylganov Kyrgyz National Philharmonic on the back side, a coin with denomination of 5 Som contains a portrait of a ballerina Bubusara Beishenalieva and Abdylas Maldybaev  Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theatre, 10 Som a portrait of a creator of Kyrgyz literacy Kasym Tynystanov and Jety-Oguz tract, 20 Som a portrait of an akyn-painter Togolok Moldo and a historical and cultural complex Manas kumbez, 50 Som a portrait of Alay queen Kurmanjan Datka and Uzgen architectural complex, 100 Som a portrait of an akyn-improviser Toktogul Satylganov and Toktogul hydro power plant.  

The portraits of outstanding personalities of Kyrgyzstan are also depicted on the banknotes with high denomination of 200, 500, 1,000 Som. A portrait of a poet Alykul Osmonov is depicted on the banknote with denomination of 200 Som with the Issyk-Kul Lake on the reverse side, 500 Som a portrait of a great manaschi Sayakbay Karalaev and stylized fairytale images from “Manas” epos, 1000 Som a portrait of a philosopher and a thinker Zhusup Balasagyn and a monument of ancient architecture Takhti Sulaiman Mosque on the background of the Sulaiman Mountain. A portrait of an artist and an actor Suimonkul Chokmorov is depicted on the front side of the banknote with denomination of 5000 Som, the building of Ala-Too cinema on the reverse side.  

On November 17, 2017, the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic put into circulation the first commemorative banknote of the national currency with denomination of 2000 Som. The commemorative banknote is made in vertical design, the dominant color is blue. The main subject of the front side of the banknote is the monument to Manas, who united the Kyrgyz tribes, which are depicted on the banknote in the form of stylized ornamental figures. The image of Umai Ene impersonifies the most ancient deity - the progenitor of all Turkic peoples. The image of the traditional dwelling of the nomadic peoples - yurta is a symbol of wealth and well-being.  

There is a tree as a symbol of life and prosperity of the Kyrgyz people on the back side of the banknote. The image of the majestic mountain Khan-Tengri symbolizes the independent spirit of the Kyrgyz people, the desire for high achievements and success. The soaring golden eagle on the background of the Issyk-Kul Lake is the symbol of the peoples openness and freedom.