Armenian dram

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.

Armenian dram
Հայկական Դրամ (Armenian)
A 100,000 (haryur hazar) Armenian dram banknote, the highest denominated banknote in circulation.
ISO 4217
1/100luma (լումա)
PluralThe language(s) of this currency do(es) not have a morphological plural distinction.
Symbol (֏) or դր.
Freq. used1000֏, 5000֏, 10,000֏, 20,000֏, 50,000֏, 100,000֏
Rarely used50֏, 100֏, 500֏, 2000֏
Freq. used10֏, 20֏, 50֏, 100֏, 200֏, 500֏
Rarely used10, 20, 50 luma, 1֏, 3֏, 5֏
User(s) Armenia
Central bankCentral Bank of the Republic of Armenia
Inflation2.7% (Armenia only)
Source, January 2018
Pegged withArtsakh 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.[1]

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: ; Armenian: Դրամ; code: AMD) was designed in 1995. In Unicode, it is encoded at U+058F ֏ ARMENIAN DRAM SIGN (HTML ֏).


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.

The Central Bank has also issued a great number of commemorative coins intended for sale to collectors. A listing can be found at the authorized central bank distributors.[2][3]

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.[4][5]

First series (1994)
ImageValueTechnical parametersDescription
10 luma[6] 16 mm 0.6 g Aluminium Smooth Armenian coat of arms Value, year of minting
20 luma[7] 18 mm 0.75 g
50 luma[8] 20 mm 0.95 g
1[9] 22 mm 1.4 g Reeded
3[10] 24 mm 1.65 g
5[11] 26 mm 2 g Smooth
10[12] 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)
ImageValueTechnical parametersDescription
10[13] 20 mm 1.3 g Aluminium Reeded Armenian coat of arms Value, ornaments,
year of minting
20[14] 20.5 mm 2.75 g Copper-plated Steel Smooth
50[15] 21.5 mm 3.45 g Brass-plated steel Reeded
100[16] 22.5 mm 4 g Nickel-plated Steel
200[17] 24 mm 4.5 g Brass
500[18] 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)

On 22 November 1993, banknotes of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram were issued.[19] Notes for 1,000 and 5,000 dram were put into circulation later.

First series (1993-1995)
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColorDescription
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)
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColorDescription
50 122 x 65  mm Pink, blue and grey Aram Khachaturian and Armenian Opera Theater A scene from the ballet Gayane by Khachaturian, and Mount Ararat
100 Blue and grey Viktor Hambardzumyan Byurakan Observatory
500 129 x 72 mm Grey Alexander Tamanian Government House in Yerevan designed by Alexander Tamanyan
1,000 136 x 72 mm Green and pink Yeghishe Charents An image of old Yerevan depicting the government building of the First Republic
5,000 143 x 72 mm Yellow and green Hovhannes Tumanyan Nature of Lori from Martiros Saryan's paintings
10,000 150 x 72 mm Purple Avetik Isahakyan An image of old Gyumri
20,000 155 x 72 mm Yellow, red and brown Martiros Saryan Episode from Martiros Saryan's Armenia landscape
50,000 160 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.
100,000 160 x 72 mm Blue and brown Abgar V of Edessa In the centre St. Thaddeus transfers the mandylion to Abgar V of Edessa.[20]

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.[21] 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 , 20,000 and 50,000 , were issued on November 22, 2018. The final three denominations, 1,000 , 2,000 and 5,000 were issued on December 25, 2018.

Third series (2018–present)
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColorDescription
500 140 × 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
1,000 Violet Paruyr Sevak, poems Paryur Sevak house (museum), Zangakatun; statue of Sevak
2,000 Brown Tigran Petrosian, chessboard Tigran Petrosyan Chess House (Yerevan), statue of Petrosyan
5,000 Red William Saroyan, covers from Saroyan's books, mountain Statue of Saroyan (Yerevan)
10,000 Purple Komitas Gevorkian Seminary and statue of Komitas, Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin)
20,000 Blue Ivan Aivazovsky Art Museum and statue of Aivazovskiy, Feodosia (Crimea)
50,000 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

Exchange rates

The modern dram came into effect on 22 November 1993, at a rate of 200 rubles = 1 dram (1 USD : 404 AMD). The dram is not pegged to any currency other than the Artsakh dram.

Current AMD exchange rates

Note: Rates obtained from these websites may be slightly different from the rates the Central Bank of Armenia publishes

See also


  1. Pomfret, Richard (2001). The IMF and the Ruble zone. Available at:
  2. Armenian commemorative coins for sale
  3. Armenian commemorative coins cathalogue
  4. BBC (2013). Available at:
  5. Armenian Central Bank.
  6. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  7. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  8. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  9. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  10. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  11. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  12. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  13. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  14. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  15. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  16. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  17. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  18. Central Bank of Armenia. Available at:
  19. "Central Bank Of The Republic Of Armenia". Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  20. "Բիզնես 24 - Հայկական Բիզնես Օրաթերթ, 24/08/09". 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  21. "Arguments in Armenia over new banknote design". JAMnews. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.