month when 20 dram copper colored coins appeared
in trade centers throughout the Republic, many
people were so excited they gave the new currency
as gifts to friends.
For many years, the 10-dram metal coin has been
in circulation, but the 20-dram (about 4 cents)
denomination and the color make the new money
piece a novelty.
"Some years ago metal coins called 'luma'
were produced. However, as a result of inflation,
luma lost its value to the extent that it was
completely out of the circulation," says
Gevorg Tumanyan, head of the Department of Issuing
Transactions and Money Saving of the Central Bank
of RA. "These days, taking into account some
preeminence of the metal coins, metal coins of
different denomination and type are being produced
As workers of the Central Bank assure the most
important condition for producing metal coins
is their practicality.
says that banknotes of 10, 25, 50 and other denomination,
which are now in circulation, are mainly worn
out and damaged, are passed from hand to hand
and don't enter the banking system and become
"Unlike banknotes metal coins can be used
for more than 15 years," says Tumanyan, "so
it's more effectual to spend some amount of money
one time and produce metal coins and in this case
you will save money for many years. The most important
thing is that the problem of the wear-out of banknotes
of small-value denomination will be resolved."
About 30 million drams (about $51,700) worth
of the 20-dram coins have been placed in circulation.
The new coins were produced at a mint in Poland.
The size and content (copper) was decided taking
into account some details and international experience.
"By producing metal coins we must also take
into consideration parameters of the coins which
are in circulation in our neighbouring countries,"
Tumanyan says, adding that the coins of about
80 to 100 countries were examined before choosing
the new one.
The 20-dram coin is the first of a series of
coins that will be introduced during the year,
including 50, 100, 200 and 500-drams, each of
different metallic makeup. The 500-dram (about
80 cents) coin will be similar to the Euro, with
the middle formed of white metal surrounded by
a yellow ring of latten.