November 13, 2013 - 18:48 AMT
From the history of Armenian coins: birth of Armenian dram on Nov 22, 1993
Soviet rubles had been circulating up until November 22, 1993 when the state currency – dram - was released.
The Central Bank of Armenia, chaired by Isahak Isahakyan, was formed on March 27, 1993. However, Soviet rubles had been circulating in Armenia up until November 22, 1993 when the state currency – dram - was released, with an exchange rate of 200 rubles to 1 AMD established.

The Central Bank of Armenia was given an exclusive right to issue the currency.

Dram (Armenian: դրամ) is the official currency of Armenia. 1 dram is divided into 100 smaller units called lumas, which are currently not used. The word ‘dram’ translating as ‘money’ was derived from Greek ‘drahma’ (Greek: δραχμή).

Graphical symbol of the dram is a capital letter D (Դ) of the Armenian alphabet crossed by two horizontal lines.

K. Komendaryan and R. Arutchyan, who provided identical drafts, are considered the official authors of the symbol.

In 1992, the government of Armenia formed a commission for naming, design and circulation mechanisms of the national currency.

Among the names offered for the national currency were: dram, stak, ibar, daekan. The following names were suggested for smaller units: manradram, ar, manr, imi, zuza, plik, luma.

Then-President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrossian, Vice-President Gagik Harutyunyan, Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan, Supreme Council deputies, officials and experts attended the committee sitting to select a final name.

Ter-Petrossian offered dram and luma for main currency and small change, with the suggestion accepted after a vote.

In 2003, the graphicl symbol of the currency was featured on a 10000-dram banknote, followed by some other banknotes of different values. In 2008, the symbol was featured on the reverse of a 5000-dram commenorative silver coin, dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the national currency. In 2012, the symbol was included in the Unicode database with an index of U+058F Armenian Dram Sign.

Armenian dram is listed as 'AMD' under ISO 4217 international standard.

The material was prepared in cooperation with Gevorg Mughalyan, the numismatist of the Central Bank of Armenia.

Viktoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN.Net