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Currency and Stamps of Armenia

The currency (Dram)

he disintegration of the financial markets of the former Soviet Union and the withdrawal in 1993 of the Russian Federation from the USSR ruble zone, reinforced the need of an independent monetary policy for the Republic of Armenia. The introduction of the Dram (Tram) in November 1993 as a national currency made an independent monetary policy possible. 

The initial exchange rate of the Dram against the US Dollar was set at 14 Dram. By the end of March 1994 it had reached 230 Dram and ended the year at 400. In 1995, the official Dram rate remained stable moving within a band of 400-410 per US Dollar. In March 1998 one US Dollar was equal to 502 Dram.

When first introduced, the value of the Dram was rapidly eroded by inflation creating near financial ruin for Armenian citizens and enterprises. In the final quarter of 1993, the inflation rate averaged over 150 percent per month. In the following quarters, the rate fell to slightly over 40 percent per month and ended the 1994 year at a monthly 28 percent. With further tightening of monetary policy, 1995 saw the inflation rate average 1.9 percent. The objective rate for coming years is an average of 1 percent per month.

Banknotes issued by Republic of Armenia

n Nov. 29, 1993, the Republic of Armenia broke her last link with the former Soviet Union by adopting the "Dram" as the new national currency. 5 denominations, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 Dram, were issued and placed into circulation. Later on a  500, 1000 and 5000 Dram were added to make a complete set of 8 denominations. In 1997 a new set of 6 denominations where issued honouring some of the well known Armenian literary and artistic personnel.  The denominations are 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and 20,000, which are displayed on the following page.

To view an enlarged version of the currency, please click on the desired denomination (image).
Value: 10 Dram
Size: 12.6cm X 6.2cm

Face A':  The statue of "David of Sasun" (Sasuntsi Tavit). David of Sasun is a mythical hero of the Armenian people, he is the symbol of virtues and of the destiny of his people, whose identity he represents through his trials and tribulations. His story is an example of faith, courage, and justice - The building shown is the central train station of Yerevan.

Face B': A view of Mt. Ararat , the symble of the Armenian nation.

Value: 25 Dram 
Size: 12.6cm X 6.2cm 

Face A': Part of an ancient wall with a sculptured lioness - Hieroglyphics of Urartu, the first Armenian nation-state during the 9th century BC.

Face B': An arch with Relief carving, a example of Armenian architecture and art.

Value: 50 Dram
Size: 12.6cm X 6.2cm

Face A': The Museum of History

Face B': The Government building

Value: 100 Dram 
Size: 13.6cm X 6.5cm 

Face A': The cathedral of Zvartnots (7th century), a three-tier construction that was destroyed by an earthquake three centuries later. It used to be a church of exceptional type, singular in form and audacity of design - A view of Mt. Ararat.

Face B': The Opera and ballet House.

Value: 200 Dram
Size: 13.6cm X 6.5cm

Face A': The Church of St. Hripsime built in 618 A.D. in the city of Etchmiadzin.

Face B': Floral motif.

Value: 500 Dram

Face A': A coin "Tigran the Great", Tetradrachma, 95-55 B.C. - Mount Ararat in the background.

Face B': An ancient manuscript with a feather.

Value: 1000 Dram

Face A': The Statue of Mesrob Mashtots the inventor of the Armenian Alphabet - In the background, the Matenadaran, a repository of ancient manuscripts.

Face B': Architectural remains of an ancient Armenian Church.

Value: 5000 Dram

Face A': Garni, Pagan Temple in Hellenistic style, First century.

Face B': The head of the goddess Anahit 


New and old currency - Continue >
Courtesy of 
Armenian Youth Federation, Greece. &
Armenian Embassy Washington DC
Updated 2 February, 2001 ..
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