Armenian dram

Armenian dram

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The dram is the monetary unit of Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic , or Artsakh Republic is a de facto independent republic located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia...

. It is subdivided into 100 luma . The word "dram" translates into English as "money" and is cognate with the Greek drachma. The Central Bank of Armenia
Central Bank of Armenia
The Central Bank of Armenia is the central bank of Armenia with its headquarters in Yerevan. The CBA is an independent institution responsible for issuing all banknotes and coins in the country, overseeing and regulating the banking sector and keeping the government's currency reserves...

 has the exclusive right of issuing the national currency according to Armenian law.

History


The first instance of a dram currency in Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 was in the period from 1199 to 1375, when silver coins called dram were issued.

On 21 September 1991 a national referendum proclaimed Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 as an independent republic from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The Central Bank of Armenia
Central Bank of Armenia
The Central Bank of Armenia is the central bank of Armenia with its headquarters in Yerevan. The CBA is an independent institution responsible for issuing all banknotes and coins in the country, overseeing and regulating the banking sector and keeping the government's currency reserves...

 was adopted on 27 March 1993, under the governorship of Isahak Isahakyan
Isahak Isahakyan
Isahak Isahakyan was Vice Chairman of the Yerevan Office of the State Bank of the Armenian SSR from 1978 to 1986. After Armenia gained its independence from the Soviet Union he became the first Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia until 1994. He is currently an advisor to the Chairman of the...

. However the old Soviet banknotes were legal tender until November 1993. The modern dram came into effect on 22 November 1993, at a rate of 200 rubles
Russian ruble
The ruble or rouble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with...

 = 1 dram (1 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 : 377 AMD). The dram is not pegged to any other currency.

Coins


In 1994, coins were introduced by the Central Bank of Armenia
Central Bank of Armenia
The Central Bank of Armenia is the central bank of Armenia with its headquarters in Yerevan. The CBA is an independent institution responsible for issuing all banknotes and coins in the country, overseeing and regulating the banking sector and keeping the government's currency reserves...

 in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 luma, 1, 3, 5 and 10 dram. All were struck in aluminium. In 2003 and 2004, a new coinage consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram coins was introduced. The 10 dram is struck in aluminium, the 20 dram in copper-plated steel, the 50 dram in brass-plated steel, 100 dram in nickel-plated steel and 200 dram in brass. The 500 dram coin is bimetallic with a brass outer ring and cupronickel
Cupronickel
Cupronickel or copper-nickel or "cupernickel" is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. Cupronickel is highly resistant to corrosion in seawater, because its electrode potential is adjusted to be neutral with regard to seawater...

 centre.

The Central Bank also produces commemorative coins.
http://www.cba.am/CBA_SITE/cba_images/coins/aivazovski1.gif
http://www.cba.am/CBA_SITE/cba_images/coins/aivazovski2.gif

Banknotes


In 1993, banknotes of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram were issued. Notes for 1000 and 5000 dram were put into circulation on October 24, 1994 and September 1995, respectively. In 1999, a 20,000 dram note was issued, whilst a commemorative 50,000 dram note was issued in 2001 to observe the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

. 10,000 dram notes were introduced in 2003.

Banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

s currently in circulation are
  • 1000 dram
  • 5000 dram
  • 10,000 dram
  • 20,000 dram
  • 50,000 dram
  • 100,000 dram

In addition, the following banknotes are no longer legal tender
Legal tender
Legal tender is a medium of payment allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency is a common form of legal tender in many countries....

 (since April 1, 2004) but may be exchanged at banks: 10, 25, 50 and 100 drams. The 1993 500-dram banknote has also ceased to be legal tender since September 1, 2005, but there is a 1999 500-dram banknote that is still in circulation.

Banknotes of 1993-1995 series (out of circulation)


The banknotes issued in 1993-1995 were put out of circulation after 2005.
Obverse Reverse Value Main colour Obverse description Reverse description
10 Dram Brown/Purple Yerevan Central Train Station and David of Sasun
David of Sasun
David of Sasun or David of Sassoun is an Armenian epic hero from the Daredevils of Sassoun who drove Arab invaders out of Armenia.The Sasuntsi Davit is an Armenian national epic poem recounting David's exploits...

 statue
Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat .The Ararat massif is about in diameter...

25 Dram Yellow/Brown/Blue Urartian
Urartu
Urartu , corresponding to Ararat or Kingdom of Van was an Iron Age kingdom centered around Lake Van in the Armenian Highland....

 cuneiform tablet and a lion relief
Relief
Relief is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is thus to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane...

 from Erebuni fortress
Erebuni Fortress
Erebuni Fortress also known as Arin Berd is a fortified city from the ancient kingdom of Urartu, located in what is present-day Yerevan, Armenia. It was one of several fortresses built along the northern Urartian border and was one of the most important political, economic and cultural centers of...

Ornaments
50 Dram Blue/Red National Gallery
National Gallery of Armenia
The National Gallery of Armenia is one of the biggest museums of the Republic of Armenia, locate in its capital, Yerevan.-History:...

 and History Museum of Armenia
Armenian parliament building
100 Dram Blue/Purple/Red Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat .The Ararat massif is about in diameter...

 and Zvartnots Cathedral
Zvartnots Cathedral
Zvartnots Cathedral are the ruins of a seventh century centrally-planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by order of the Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 641-653...

Armenian Opera Theater
Armenian Opera Theater
The Alexander Spendiarian Armenian Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre in Yerevan was officially opened on 20 January 1933. The building was designed by the Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian...

200 Dram Brown/Green/Yellow/Red St. Hripsime Church in Echmiadzin
St. Hripsime Church, Echmiadzin
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in the year 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The...

Ornaments
500 Dram Green/Brown/Blue Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat .The Ararat massif is about in diameter...

 and a Tigran the Great tetradrachm
Tetradrachm
The tetradrachm was an Ancient Greek silver coin equivalent to four drachmae. It was in wide circulation from 510 to 38 BC.-History:Many surviving tetradrachms were minted by the polis of Athens from around the middle of the 5th century BC onwards; the popular coin was widely used in transactions...

Ornaments
1000 Dram Brown/Orange Mesrop Mashtots statue and Matenadaran
Matenadaran
The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts , commonly referred to as the Matenadaran , is an ancient manuscript repository located in Yerevan, Armenia...

7th century obelisk monument from Ani
Ani
Ani is a ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city-site situated in the Turkish province of Kars, near the border with Armenia. It was once the capital of a medieval Armenian kingdom that covered much of present day Armenia and eastern Turkey...

5000 Dram Green/Yellow/Purple Garni
Garni
Garni is a village in the Kotayk Province of Armenia, situated approximately 28 km southeast from Yerevan.- History :...

 temple
Bronze head of goddess Anahit
Anahit
Anahit was the goddess of fertility and healing, wisdom and water in Armenian mythology. In early periods she was the goddess of war. By the 5th century BC she was the main deity in Armenia along with Aramazd.- Temples dedicated to Anahit :...

 kept in the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...


Banknotes of 1998 series


The banknotes of 50, 100 and 500 dram are currently put out of circulation and replaced by coins with respective values. The banknote of 50,000 dram was issued in 2001 in commemoration of 1700 years of Christianity in Armenia.
Obverse Reverse Value Main colour Obverse description Reverse description
50 Dram Pink/Blue/Grey Aram Khachaturian
Aram Khachaturian
Aram Ilyich Khachaturian was a prominent Soviet composer. Khachaturian's works were often influenced by classical Russian music and Armenian folk music...

A scene from ballet Gayane composed by A. Khachaturian, and Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat .The Ararat massif is about in diameter...

100 Dram Blue/Grey Viktor Amazaspovich Ambartsumian Byurakan Observatory
Byurakan Observatory
The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, or Byurakan Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Armenian Academy of Sciences. It is located on the slope of Mount Aragats in the village of Byurakan in Armenia.-History:...

500 Dram Grey Alexander Tamanyan Government House in Yerevan designed by Al. Tamanyan
1000 Dram Green/Pink Yeghishe Charents
Yeghishe Charents
Yeghishe Charents was an Armenian poet, writer and public activist. Charents was an outstanding poet of the twentieth century, touching upon a multitude of topics that ranged from his experiences in the First World War, socialism, and, more prominently, on Armenia and Armenians.An early champion...

An image of old Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

5000 Dram Yellow/Green Hovhannes Tumanyan
Hovhannes Tumanyan
Hovhannes Tumanyan , is considered to be one of the greatest Armenian poets and writers. His work was mostly written in tragic form, often centering on the harsh lives of villagers in the Lori region.-Biography:...

Nature of Lori from Martiros Saryan
Martiros Saryan
Martiros Saryan was an Armenian painter.He was born into an Armenian family in Nor Nakhijevan . In 1895, aged 15, he completed the Nakhichevan school and from 1897 to 1904 studied at the Moscow School of Arts, including in the workshops of Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin...

's paintings
10,000 Dram Purple Avetik Isahakyan
Avetik Isahakyan
Avetik Isahakyan , Ghazarapat, near Aleksandropol, current Gyumri, Russian Empire – October 17, 1957, Yerevan) was a prominent Armenian lyric poet, writer, academian and public activist.-Biography:...

An image of old Gyumri
Gyumri
Gyumri is the capital and largest city of the Shirak Province in northwest Armenia. It is located about 120 km from the capital Yerevan, and, with a population of 168,918 , is the second-largest city in Armenia.The name of the city has been changed many times in history...

20,000 Dram Yellow/Red/Brown Martiros Saryan
Martiros Saryan
Martiros Saryan was an Armenian painter.He was born into an Armenian family in Nor Nakhijevan . In 1895, aged 15, he completed the Nakhichevan school and from 1897 to 1904 studied at the Moscow School of Arts, including in the workshops of Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin...

Episode from Martiros Saryan's Armenia landscape
50,000 Dram Brown/Red Etchmiadzin Cathedral St. Gregory the Illuminator and king Tiridates the Great lift up the Armenian Church; on the right - a khachkar
Khachkar
A khachkar or khatchkar is a carved, cross-bearing, memorial stele covered with rosettes and other botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of Medieval Christian Armenian art found in Armenia.-Description:...

 from Kecharis Monastery
Kecharis Monastery
Kecharis is a 11-13th-century monastery, located 60 km from Yerevan, in the ski resort town of Tsakhkadzor in Armenia. Nestled in the Bambak mountains, Kecharis was founded by a Pahlavuni prince in the 11th century, and construction continued until the middle of the 13th century...

.
100,000 dram Blue/Brown Abgar V of Edessa
Abgar V of Edessa
Abgar V the black or Abgarus V of Edessa BC - AD 7 and AD 13 - 50) was a historical Syriac ruler of the Syriac kingdom of Osroene, holding his capital at Edessa....

In the center St. Thaddeus transfers the painting of Jesus Christ (painted alive) to Abgar V of Edessa
Abgar V of Edessa
Abgar V the black or Abgarus V of Edessa BC - AD 7 and AD 13 - 50) was a historical Syriac ruler of the Syriac kingdom of Osroene, holding his capital at Edessa....

.

Money supply


Currency in circulation has shown steady growth since first issue in 1993.
Year Currency in circulation (billions of dram)
1993 1.2
1994 11.1
1995 25.7
1996 37.1
1997 42.2
1998 45.3
1999 45.5
2000 61.9
2001 66.7
2002 92.1
2003 96.8

External links