The central bank of Armenia has released new bills to mark the occasion
Armenia is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its national currency. Both the Central Bank of the country and pundits agree that, over the years, the dram has proven to be a stable currency.
How the dram became the national currency of Armenia
The dram became the national currency of Armenia on 22 November 1993 when the country was still forming its financial and banking system.
Armenia declared its independence in 1991, but remained with the ruble until 1993. At the time, there were disputes about the feasibility of introducing a national currency.
Armenia’s banknotes and coins are printed and minted abroad.
The Central Bank of Armenia has put new, ‘third generation’ bills into circulation to commemorate the event:
- 1,000 dram notes with the image of poet Paruyr Sevak;
- 2,000 dram notes with the image of world chess champion Tigran Petrosyan;
- 5,000 dram notes depicting the writer William Saroyan;
- 10,000 dram notes with the image of the composer Komitas;
- 20,000 dram notes depicting artist Ivan (Hovhannes) Ayvazovsky;
- 50,000 dram notes with the image of the first Catholicos of All Armenians, Grigor Lusavorich (Gregory the Illuminator).
The new bills, says the Central Bank, are better protected than the previous ones. The banknotes are partly made of paper and partly of polymers (plastic).
The long road of the Armenian dram
Over the past 25 years, the Armenian dram has proven to be a stable currency. Serious fluctuations have taken place, but this has not led to a collapse in the economy.
The head of the Central Bank of Armenia, Arthur Javadyan, believes that public’s confidence in the dram is growing:
“The Armenian dram has over the years become one of the most stable currencies in the post-Soviet space. We must pay tribute to the people who, under difficult conditions, had shown determination and introduced the national currency. Let’s not forget about our citizens, who for all these years have trusted the national currency of Armenia. The share of deposits in Armenia’s dram is steadily growing in the republic.”
An expert from the International Centre for Human Development, Ashot Khurshudyan, agrees:
“We only changed the currency once and introduced the dram. We remained true to the dram, and the dram to us. The dram is a stable currency, especially considering that in this period, there were three financial shocks: the first of 1998 in Russia, as well as the financial crises of 2008 and 2015.”