Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 March

Memories on day Armenian dram was put into circulation

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 22, ARMENPRESS. The national monetary unit of Armenia is 20 years old. A row of politicians, economists, and civilians shared their memories on the jubilee of the Armenian Dram with “Armenpress” News Agency.

The former Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, MP of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Khosrov Harutyunyan recalled that he held AMD 200 banknote in his hand on that very day. Among other things Khosrov Harutyunyan underscored: “Having your own national monetary unit was an interesting chance for the comprehensive realization of the independence. Your hold your national monetary unit in your hand, which gave us internal satisfaction and frankly speaking it was a source to hope that everything depends upon ourselves.”

On 21 September 1991 a national referendum proclaimed Armenia as an independent republic from the Soviet Union. The Central Bank of Armenia, established on 27 March 1993, was given the exclusive right of issuing the national currency.

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union attempts were made to maintain a common currency (the Russian ruble) among CIS states. Armenia joined this rublezone. However it soon became clear that maintaining a common currency in the unstable political and economical circumstances of the post-Soviet states would be very difficult. The rublezone effectively collapsed in July 1993 when Russia unilaterally started a currency reform. As result the states that were still participating (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia) were 'pushed out' and forced to introduce separate currencies. Armenia was one of the last countries to do so when it introduced the dram on 22 November 1993.

The Armenian dram is also used in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. A separate currency, the Nagorno-Karabakh dram, which circulates together with the Armenian dram was introduced during 2005. Coins and banknotes ranging in nominal values from 50 luma to 10 dram were issued.

Officially the Nagorno-Karabakh dram is legal tender in both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. In practice it is however mostly sold as souvenirs due to the low nominal values of the coins and notes issued.

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