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» Armenian Dram (AMD) Currency Information
The Armenian Dram (AMD) is the monetary unit of Armenia. It is subdivided into 100 luma. The word dram translates into English as money, and is cognate with the Greek drachma. The Central Bank of Armenia has the exclusive right of issuing the national currency according to Armenian law.
The first instance of a dram currency in Armenia was in the period from 1199 to 1375, when silver coins called dram were issued.

On 21 September 1991 a national referendum proclaimed Armenia as an independent republic from the Soviet Union. The Central Bank of Armenia was adopted on 27 March 1993, under the governorship of Isahak Isahakyan. However the old Soviet banknotes were legal tender until November 1993. The modern dram came into effect on 22 November 1993, at a rate of 200 rubles = 1 dram (1 USD : 14.5 AMD). The dram is not pegged to any other currency.

In 1993, banknotes of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram were issued. Notes for 1000 and 5000 dram were put into circulation on October 24, 1994 and September 1995, respectively. In 1999, a 20,000 dram note was issued, whilst a commemorative 50,000 dram note was issued in 2001 to observe the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia. 10,000 dram notes were introduced in 2003.

Banknotes currently in circulation are
  • 1000 dram
  • 5000 dram
  • 10,000 dram
  • 20,000 dram
  • 50,000 dram
  • 100,000 dram
In addition, the following banknotes are no longer legal tender (since April 1, 2004) but may be exchanged at banks: 10, 25, 50 and 100 drams. The 1993 500-dram banknote has also ceased to be legal tender since September 1, 2005, but there is a 1999 500-dram banknote that is still in circulation.

Banknotes of 1993-1995 series, The banknotes issued in 1993-1995 were put out of circulation after 2005.
The banknotes of 50, 100 and 500 dram are currently put out of circulation and replaced by coins with respective values. The banknote of 50,000 dram was issued in 2001 in commemoration of 1700 years of Christianity in Armenia.
  • 50 Dram, Aram Khachaturian - A scene from Gayane ballet composed by A. Khachaturian and the Mount Ararat
  • 100 Dram, Viktor Amazaspovich Ambartsumian - Byurakan Observatory
  • 500 Dram, Alexander Tamanyan - Government House in Yerevan designed by Al. Tamanyan
  • 1000 Dram, Yeghishe Charents - An image of old Yerevan
  • 5000 Dram, Hovhannes Tumanyan - Nature of Lori from Martiros Saryan's paintings
  • 10000 Dram, Avetik Isahakyan - An image of old Gyumri
  • 20000 Dram, Martiros Saryan - Episode from Martiros Saryan's Armenia landscape
  • 50000 Dram, Etchmiadzin Cathedral - St. Gregory the Illuminator and king Tiridates the Great lift up the Armenian Church; on the right - a khachkar from Kecharis Monastery.
  • 100000 Dram, Abgar V of Edessa - In the center St. Thaddeus transfers the painting of Jesus Christ (painted alive) to Abgar V of Edessa.
In 1994, coins were introduced by the Central Bank of Armenia in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 luma, 1, 3, 5 and 10 dram. All were struck in aluminium. In 2003 and 2004, a new coinage consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram coins was introduced. The 10 dram is struck in aluminium, the 20 dram in copper plated steel, the 50 dram in brass plated steel, 100 dram in nickel plated steel and 200 dram in brass. The 500 dram coin is bimetallic with brass outer ring and cupronickel centre.Also the Central Bank of Armenia produces commemorative coins.

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