Money cycle in the Republic of Armenia

On November 22, 1993, the national currency, the Dram, was put into circulation in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. As a legal tender, the banknotes with nominal value ​​of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 drams began circulating with an exchange rate of one dram for 200 rubles.
The former Soviet banknotes with nominal value of 500 rubles of the 1961-1992 issue remained in the circulation up until March 17, 1994.
The first series of aluminum-alloy coins with nominal value of 10, 20, 50 lumas and 1, 3, 5, 10 drams, as well as the banknotes with nominal value of 1,000 and 5,000 drams were introduced in the period 1994-1995.

RA, banknote of the first series of 10 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 10 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 25 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 25 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 50 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 50 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 100 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 100 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 200 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 200 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 500 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 500 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 1000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 1000 dram denomination, revers

RA, banknote of the first series of 5000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the first series of 5000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, coin of the first series of 10 luma denomination

RA, coin of the first series of 20 luma denomination

RA, coin of the first series of 50 luma denomination

RA, coin of the first series of 1 dram denomination

RA, coin of the first series of 3 dram denomination

RA, coin of the first series of 5 dram denomination

RA, coin of the first series of 10 dram denomination

The authors of design of the first series banknotes were Hrachya Aslanyan and Ashot Manukyan, members of the Union of Artists of Armenia, in a joint effort. The banknotes feature both modern and historic architectural and cultural monuments of Armenia. With the work on designing the first series of banknotes and coins, the Central Bank of Armenia has actually started the tradition of presenting Armenian cultural and historical heritage on the notes and coins.
The processing of new series of banknotes has begun since 1995. The concept of the banknote design incurred certain changes as technical specifications of the banknotes improved, bringing them closer to international standards and global trends of the time.
The second series banknotes with nominal value of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000 and 20000 drams started to be issued since 1998. The banknotes were made to meet the modern banknote printing requirements by design, security features and production quality.
The banknotes featured the portraits of the most prominent figures of Armenian culture and historical heritage: composer, conductor Aram Khachaturyan (50 drams), astrologer and astrophysicist Victor Hambardzumyan (100 drams), architect Alexander Tamanyan (500 drams), poet, writer and translator Yeghishe Charents (1000 drams), poet, author and, literary and public figure Hovhannes Tumanyan (5000 drams), poet, author, public figure Avetik Isahakyan (10000 drams), painter, People’s Artist of the USSR Martiros Saryan (20000 drams). The author of design is Ashot Manukyan.

In 2001, the jubilee banknote with nominal value of 50000 drams was put into circulation. It was dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of proclaiming Christianity a state religion in Armenia. The observe of the banknote depicts the Holy See of Etchmiatsin and a fragment of arch; the reverse depicts Mount Ararat, a khachkar of the Kecharis Monastery, and the image of the church symbolizing Christianity in the hands of Grigor Lusavorich (Gregory the Illuminator) and King Trdat the Great. The author of design is Ruben Arutchyan.

The banknotes of the second series were re-issued in the form of reprints, keeping with the overall design as well as inscriptions. In the process of reprinting, particular attention was paid to improving the security of banknotes and bettering their overall quality. Practically, all the achievements of modern security technologies - varnishing, use of holograms, OVI, etc. - were introduced. The number of security features at the moment reaches 17, which is why the Armenian banknotes are able to meet the highest standards accepted in security printing. All design elements were optimized and consolidated; modern security features appeared not only on the obverse, but on the reverse of the banknotes as well.

In the period 2003-2004, the second series coins with nominal value of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 drams were put into circulation (minted in the Mint of Poland). The highest nominal value of the series, 500 drams, was issued in order to replace banknotes of the same nominal value. Unlike banknotes, coins specifications for the new ones remained absolutely identical except for the coin of 10 dram of the 2004 issue; by design and technical characteristics this one is totally different from the coin of the 1994 issue.

RA, banknote of the second series of 50 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 50 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 100 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 100 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 500 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 500 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 1000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 1000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 5000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 5000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 10000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 10000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 20000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 20000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 50000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 50000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 100000 dram denomination, obverse

RA, banknote of the second series of 100000 dram denomination, reverse

RA, coin of the second series of 10 dram denomination

RA, coin of the second series of 20 dram denomination

RA, coin of the second series of 50 dram denomination

RA, coin of the second series of 100 dram denomination

RA, coin of the second series of 200 dram denomination

RA, coin of the second series of 500 dram denomination

In the period 2004-2005, the banknotes with nominal value of 50 and 100 drams of the 1993-1995 and 1998 series were withdrawn from circulation. These ceased to be a legal tender in the Republic of Armenia but allowed to be exchanged at their par in commercial banks and the Central Bank of Armenia.
In 2009, the banknote with nominal value of 100000 drams (the highest nominal value) was put into circulation. Obverse: Portrait of King Abgar V and a fragment from the 1st century regional map. Reverse: the disciple Thaddeus handing the canvas with imprinted portrait of Jesus to King Abgar V. The author of design is Haroutiun Samuelian.

In 1996-1997, circulation commemorative coins (two copper-nickel coins dedicated to the 32nd Chess Olympiad and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Charents, and a gold coin dedicated to the goddess Anahit) were issued for the first time.

In 2012, collector commemorative coins with nominal value of 50 drams were issued. The coins are dedicated to the 10 regions of Armenia and the Armenian capital Yerevan. The obverse of these coins depicted the most typical images associated with the regions they represent. All commemorative coins are in circulation on a par with the standard ones and are a good source of increased interest among collectors.

These 6 types (Quercus araxina, Fagus orientalis, Pinus kochiana, Platanus orientalis, Populus tremula, Salix babylonica) of commemorative coins with nominal value of 200 drams are dedicated to non-fruit-bearing wild trees frequently met in the Armenian woods. These collector coins were put into circulation in 2014. Technical specification and image on the reverse of the coins are the same as of the circulation coins of 2003 series with nominal value of 200 drams.

Commemorative circulation coin "32-nd Chess Olympiad" with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin "Goddess Anahit" with nominal value of 25000 dram

Jubilee circulation Coin "Yeghishe Charents" with nominal value of 100 dram

Circulation commemorative coin dedicated to Yerevan with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Kotayk region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Gegharkuniq region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Lori region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Shirak region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Tavush region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Syunik region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Ararat region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Vayots Dzor region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Aragatsotn region with nominal value of 100 dram

Commemorative circulation coin dedicated to Armavir region with nominal value of 100 dram

In 2018, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Armenian currency, the Central Bank of Armenia issued the third series banknotes, responding to a variety of challenges offered by technological innovations in the field of security printing:

  • the nominal structure of the Armenian banknotes has been streamlined by introducing a new banknote with nominal value of 2000 drams to complete the third series banknotes representing the 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000-dram denominations;
  • a new design has been offered to the third series banknotes, using the same principle of portraying famous Armenians and, in the meantime, expanding the thematic and geographical scope of representation;
  • the usage of HybridTM composite material for the production of banknotes has prolonged the life cycle of banknotes in circulation;
  • vivid and well recognizable security features embedded with the banknotes make it possible for the households to easily identify and check them with a naked eye.

The second series banknotes will remain a legal tender and circulate in Armenia along with the third series banknotes, within the timeframe set by the Central Bank of Armenia.

The third series banknotes depict the portraits of the following famous people who have contributed tremendously to the cultural and historical heritage of Armenia: poet, cultural figure, literary critic Paruyr Sevak (1000 drams, obverse and reverse design by Eduard Kurghinyan), double world chess champion Tigran Petrosyan (2000 drams), American-Armenian author-writer William Saroyan (5000 drams), composer, musicologist Komitas (10000 drams), world-famous seascape painter Hovhannes Aivazovsky (20000 drams, reverse design by Vardan Vardanyan), ecclesiastic, first Catholicos of Christian Armenia Gregory the Illuminator (50000 drams).

Suren Simonyan is the author of the obverse and reverse design of the following denominations: 2000 drams, 5000 drams, 10000 drams, 50000 drams, and 20000 drams (obverse).
The third series banknotes are printed by the German company Giesecke & Devrient.

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 10000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 10000 dram, reverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 20000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 20000 dram, reverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 50000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 50000 dram, reverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 1000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 2000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 5000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 10000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 20000 dram, obverse

The third series Republic of Armenia banknotes with nominal value of 50000 dram, obverse

Content Published 04/26/2019