Armenian dram – National Currency of Armenia

Drachma and Dram

The name of Armenian Dram came from the Greek Drachma. In ancient times, the Greeks used a coin, called drachma, in all their cities. Drachma was a standard silver unit, with unique symbols and inscriptions on a coin. 

These markings identified the city in which the coin was created. Its cost depended on the quantity and quality of the metal. Before the conquests of Alexander the Great, drachma coins were widely used throughout the Greek world.

Money in Armenia: Dram and “Pogh”

In the 11th century, Kilikia Armenian State was founded – a feudal principality that existed for 300 years. During this time, the Rubenid dynasty created copper coins with Armenian inscriptions and illustrations, which were influenced by the era of the Crusaders. 

During the reign of King Levon I, a large number of silver and copper coins were issued. Silver coins were called dram, and copper coins – pogh. Now Armenians have two words used to refer to money: dram and pogh.

Dram and Dirham

So, the earliest known currency in the territory of Armenia was the drachma. Then, under the control of the Caliphate and the late Ottoman Empire, a dirham entered into circulation. The dirham was also a standard unit of silver or gold, which looked very much like a drachma.

Ruble in Armenia

After the 1917 revolution, the Russian temporal government began to use its bank notes in Armenia. In February 1918, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia left the Russian Empire to create the Transcaucasian Commissariat. The newly formed alliance used ruble bank notes. For the first time, Armenian inscriptions appear on these banknotes.

By 1922, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan united to form the Federative Union of the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republics. They used their own banknotes of 5,000 to 10 million rubles. Monetary reform in 1924 replaced all types of banknotes in circulation in the South Caucasus together with banknotes of the single currency of the Soviet Union. In the pre-war Soviet period, many coppers, nickel and silver pennies and ruble coins were designed and used.

Independence of Armenia and national currency. Armenian Dram (AMD)

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia held a national referendum on September 21, 1991, and declared itself an independent republic. The current currency was released in 1993 after the ruble. In 1995, the official symbol of the Armenian dram was developed and adopted. The symbol uses the first capital letter of the word dram (Դ) with two horizontal lines (֏).

Армянский драмArmenian Dram

Currency in Armenia today (AMD)

The modern dram is available in coins of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 drams and banknotes of 1000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000 drams.

Валюта в Армении - ДрамCurrency in Armenia- Dram

Currency Exchange in Armenia

In Armenia, as in many countries, you cannot pay in foreign currency, therefore you will be forced to exchange money. You better take your national currency. All exchange offices and banks of Armenia take the ruble, US dollars, euros (EUR), pounds (GBP), lari (GEL), etc. Banks are open until 5:30 pm, exchange offices in large supermarkets and on the streets of the capital are open until midnight, therefore, you will not have problems in order to exchange money in Armenia.

Credit card use in Armenia

Credit cards Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in all major hotels of the country. In addition, in Yerevan, all supermarkets and large shopping centres, restaurants and cafes accept credit cards. However, it is worth clarifying this point in advance.

Кредитные карты в Армении
 Credit card in Armenia