The Republic of Tajikistan is a landlocked country and the smallest in size in Central Asia. The area was home to many kingdoms governed by people of different cultures and faiths. The empires that have ruled this area include Samanid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Achaemenid Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Timurid dynasty, Mongol Empire, Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union which was dissolved in 1991 when Tajikistan became an independent nation. It is surrounded by neighboring countries Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, Uzbekistan to the west and Kyrgyzstan to the north. The earliest currency in the area was in the form of bronze coins.
The coins were minted during the rule of different empires in Tajikistan. The first ones in 3rd century BC were large bronze coins (tetradrahma) and had the name and portrait of the king who ruled at that time. There were also gold and copper coins used in the region.
Tajikistani ruble was the currency of Tajikistani from May 10, 1995, to October 29, 2000. The Tajikistani ruble was divided into 100 tanga, and no coin or banknotes were issued denominated in tanga. However, only one commemorative coin was issued in Tajikistani ruble for use in collectors market only. Tajikistani ruble banknotes were similar to the Soviet ruble banknotes series of 1961, 1991, and 1992. After independence, Tajikistani continued to use Soviet ruble for few years just like the other members of the former Soviet Union. On July 26, 1993, Soviet ruble was no longer a legal tender in Russia because new series of Russian rubles were released. On January 8, 1994, Russian rouble ceased to be the legal tender in Tajikistan and Tajikistani ruble replaced it at a rate of 1 Tajikistani ruble to 100 Russian rubles. The Tajikistani ruble was later destroyed by inflation and was replaced by Tajikistan Somoni.
Tajikistan Somoni was launched on October 30, 2000, at the exchange rate of 1 Somoni to 100 dirams. Banknotes in the form of dirham were also issued during the launch to help ease the circulation of the currency. A year later after the introducing the diram notes, diram coins were introduced to slowly get rid of diram notes and create an efficient monetary system, which marked the first time Tajikistan used coins. They were in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 dirams and consisted of brass clad steel somoni. In 2003, bimetallic somoni coins were in traduced into circulation in the country. Each year, all somoni coins are changed to commemorate certain events in the country. Somoni coins in the denomination 5 were dedicated to celebrating the anniversary of the country when it adopted a new constitution and somoni coins with the denomination of 3 to commemorate the anniversary of Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan. In June 2012, they issued the second circulation of coins which included 1 somoni and 5, 10, 20, and 50 dirams. The National Bank of Tajikistan is responsible for issuing banknotes and coins used in the country.