The dram (Armenian: դրամ; sign: ֏; code: AMD) is the monetary unit of Armenia and the neighboring unrecognized Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). It was historically subdivided into 100 luma (Armenian: լումա). The word "dram" translates into English as "money" and is cognate with the Greek drachma and the Arabic dirham, as well as the English weight unit dram. The first instance of a dram currency was in the period from 1199 to 1375, when silver coins called dram were issued.
|Հայկական Դրամ (Armenian)|
A 100,000 (haryur hazar) Armenian dram banknote, the highest denominated banknote in circulation.
|Plural||The language(s) of this currency do(es) not have a morphological plural distinction.|
|Freq. used||1000֏, 5000֏, 10,000֏, 20,000֏, 50,000֏, 100,000֏|
|Rarely used||50֏, 100֏, 500֏, 2000֏|
|Freq. used||10֏, 20֏, 50֏, 100֏, 200֏, 500֏|
|Rarely used||10, 20, 50 luma, 1֏, 3֏, 5֏|
|Central bank||Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia|
|Inflation||2.7% (Armenia only)|
|Source||, January 2018|
|Pegged with||Artsakh dram|
On 21 September 1991, a national referendum proclaimed Armenia as a republic independent from the Soviet Union. The Central Bank of Armenia, established on 27 March 1993, was given the exclusive right of issuing the national currency.
In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union attempts were made to maintain a common currency (the Russian ruble) among CIS states. Armenia joined this ruble zone. However it soon became clear that maintaining a currency union in the unstable political and economical circumstances of the post-Soviet states would be very difficult. The ruble zone effectively collapsed with the unilateral monetary reform in Russia, 1993. As result the states that were still participating (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia) were 'pushed out' and forced to introduce separate currencies. Armenia was one of the last countries to do so when it introduced the dram on 22 November 1993.
Armenian dram sign
After its proclamation of independence, Armenia put into circulation its own national currency, the Armenian Dram; this required a monetary sign. As the result of common business practice and the unique pattern of Armenian letters, the shape of the sign and its variations appeared in the business scratches (daybooks). Until the official endorsement of the sign a number of artists and businessmen developed and offered various shapes for it. Now the dram symbol is included in the Armenian standard for the national characters and symbols and in the Armenian computer fonts. The current standard sign for the Armenian dram (֏, image:
In 1994, a first series of aluminium coins was introduced in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 luma, 1, 3, 5 and 10 dram. In 2003 and 2004, a second series consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram coins was introduced to replace the first series.
First series (1994-2002)
In 1994, a first series of aluminium coins was introduced in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 luma, 1, 3, 5 and 10 dram. The other coins are officially in circulation but rarely used because of their low nominal value.
|First series (1994)|
|10 luma||16 mm||0.6 g||Aluminium||Smooth||Armenian coat of arms||Value, year of minting|
|20 luma||18 mm||0.75 g|
|50 luma||20 mm||0.95 g|
||22 mm||1.4 g||Reeded|
||24 mm||1.65 g|
||26 mm||2 g||Smooth|
||28 mm||2.3 g|
- All coins bear the year of the first issue (1994).
Second series (2003-present)
In 2003 and 2004, a new series of coins was introduced in denominations of 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 200 and 500 dram.
|Second series (2003-2004)|
||20 mm||1.3 g||Aluminium||Reeded||Armenian coat of arms||Value, ornaments,|
year of minting
||20.5 mm||2.75 g||Copper-plated Steel||Smooth|
||21.5 mm||3.45 g||Brass-plated steel||Reeded|
||22.5 mm||4 g||Nickel-plated Steel|
||24 mm||4.5 g||Brass|
||22 mm||5 g||Bi-Metallic Copper-nickel center in Brass ring||Segmented reeding|
- All coins bear the year of the first issue (2003 or 2004).
A first series of banknotes was issued in November 1993. It was withdrawn from circulation by 2005. A second series was issued from 1998 onwards which is still in use at present.
First series (1993-1995)
|First series (1993-1995)|
|10 dram||125 x 62 mm||Brown and purple||Yerevan Train Station and David of Sasun statue||Mount Ararat|
|25 dram||Yellow, brown and blue||Urartian cuneiform tablet and a lion relief from Erebuni fortress||Ornaments|
|50 dram||Blue and red||National Gallery and History Museum of Armenia||Armenian parliament building|
|100 dram||Blue, purple and red||Mount Ararat and Zvartnots Cathedral||Armenian Opera Theater|
|200 dram||135 x 62 mm||Brown,green, yellow and red||St. Hripsime Church in Echmiadzin||Ornaments|
|500 dram||Green, brown and blue||Mount Ararat and a Tigran the Great tetradrachm|
|1,000 dram||145 x 68 mm||Brown and orange||Mesrop Mashtots statue and Matenadaran||7th century obelisk monument from Ani|
|5,000 dram||145 x 71 mm||Green, yellow and purple||Temple of Garni||Bronze head of goddess Anahit kept in the British Museum|
Second series (1998-2017)
Banknotes of 50-, 100, and 500 dram are rarely seen in circulation. The 50, 100, and 500 dram coins are used instead.
A commemorative 50,000 dram note was issued on 4 June 2001 in commemoration of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia. A 500 dram commemorative note was issued on 22 November 2017 to commemorate the story of Noah's Ark.
|Second series (1998–2017)|
||122 x 65 mm||Pink, blue and grey||Aram Khachaturian and Armenian Opera Theater||A scene from the ballet Gayane by Khachaturian, and Mount Ararat|
||Blue and grey||Viktor Hambardzumyan||Byurakan Observatory|
||129 x 72 mm||Grey||Alexander Tamanian||Government House in Yerevan designed by Alexander Tamanyan|
||136 x 72 mm||Green and pink||Yeghishe Charents||An image of old Yerevan depicting the government building of the First Republic|
||143 x 72 mm||Yellow and green||Hovhannes Tumanyan||Nature of Lori from Martiros Saryan's paintings|
||150 x 72 mm||Purple||Avetik Isahakyan||An image of old Gyumri|
||155 x 72 mm||Yellow, red and brown||Martiros Saryan||Episode from Martiros Saryan's Armenia landscape|
||160 x 79 mm||Brown and red||Etchmiadzin Cathedral||St. Gregory the Illuminator and king Tiridates the Great lift up the Armenian Church; on the right - a khachkar from Kecharis Monastery.|
||160 x 72 mm||Blue and brown||Abgar V of Edessa||In the centre St. Thaddeus transfers the mandylion to Abgar V of Edessa.|
Third series (2018-present)
A third series of Armenian dram banknotes were issued in 2018, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Armenia's national currency. All denominations for this series are the same as its previous issues, with the 2,000 dram banknote as a newly introduced denomination, the 50,000 dram banknote re-issued for this series and the omission of the 100,000 dram banknote for this issue. The first three denominations, 10,000
|Third series (2018–present)|
||140 × 76 mm||Brown and grey||Noah's Ark, Etchmiadzin Cathedral on the background of Mount Ararat||Noah, his family members and animals on the background of Mount Ararat|
||Violet||Paruyr Sevak, poems||Paryur Sevak house (museum), Zangakatun; statue of Sevak|
||Brown||Tigran Petrosian, chessboard||Tigran Petrosyan Chess House (Yerevan), statue of Petrosyan|
||Red||William Saroyan, covers from Saroyan's books, mountain||Statue of Saroyan (Yerevan)|
||Purple||Komitas||Gevorkian Seminary and statue of Komitas, Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin)|
||Blue||Ivan Aivazovsky||Art Museum and statue of Aivazovskiy, Feodosia (Crimea)|
||Gold||Saint Gregory the Illuminator, manuscripts telling the life of St. Gregory, images of the dome of the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin and the winged cross||Khor Virap monastery (Chapel of St. Gregory), Ararat Plain, tombstone of St. Gregory the Illuminator (Etchmiadzin), statue of St. Gregory the Illuminator|
|Current AMD exchange rates|
|From Google Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From Yahoo! Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From XE:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From OANDA:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
Note: Rates obtained from these websites may be slightly different from the rates the Central Bank of Armenia publishes
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- Armenian commemorative coins for sale
- Armenian commemorative coins cathalogue
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- Armenian Central Bank. www.cba.am
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- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinsnotcirculated.aspx?nominal=2
- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinsnotcirculated.aspx?nominal=3
- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinsnotcirculated.aspx?nominal=4
- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinsnotcirculated.aspx?nominal=5
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- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinscirculated.aspx?nominal=1
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- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinscirculated.aspx?nominal=3
- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinscirculated.aspx?nominal=4
- Central Bank of Armenia. Available at: https://www.cba.am/en/SitePages/detailsnccracoinscirculated.aspx?nominal=5
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- "Central Bank Of The Republic Of Armenia". Cba.am. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Բիզնես 24 - Հայկական Բիզնես Օրաթերթ, 24/08/09". B24.am. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Arguments in Armenia over new banknote design". JAMnews. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Money of Armenia.|
- Central Bank of Armenia
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- Coins of Armenia at CISCoins.net
- The banknotes of Armenia (in English) (in German)