”The breakup of the Soviet Union reshaped the world in countless ways,” reads an article in the World Coin News Magazine. The article notes that after the collapse of the USSR, the countries of the South Caucasus issued coins very quickly and made their marks on the world stage.
In the section devoted to Armenia, author of the article Mark Benvenuto writes: “Armenia is a land with an ancient past, and because of its geographic position, one that has been well recorded in the west. Ancient Armenia was close enough to the eastern borders of the expanding Roman Empire that the historian Herodotus took notice of the land and its people, and mentions it in his writings. For a brief time, Rome even held Armenia within the greater empire. As well, we have ancient Roman coins mentioning Armenia that a person could pursue today if they were thinking of making a complete collection. And, yes, there are ancient Armenian coins that could become a lifetime pursuit for anyone interested in the field.”
”For most of us though, it is the modern coinage of a newly independent Armenia that will attract our attention. The monetary system is that of 100 luma being equal to 1 dram, and the first series, which included denominations from 10 lumas to 10 drams, was issued in 1994. A second issue of circulating coinage came out between 2003 and 2005. This second issue started with a small 10 dram coin, and ended with a bimetallic 500 dram piece,” the article reads.
“If it commemorative coins that are of interest to you, well, Armenia built an impressive commem program and did it very fast. Unlike the U.S. Mint and Congress, which tend to argue about just how many commemorative themes to issue per year, the Central Bank of Armenia pounded out numerous different coins in precious metals starting in 1994.
The list includes some strangely shaped pieces, and themes that cover just about anything a person might imagine. Some of the mintages are very small, meaning only a few hundred of each coin were made. But the combination of excellent artwork and the beautiful, flowing Armenian script make many of these coins things of beauty and items worth considering for any growing collection.
But in addition, Armenia created a series of circulating commemorative coins. Since these tend to be made in base metals such as cupronickel or brass-plated on steel, they are much more affordable if you can find them. The 2012 series on the regions of Armenia has numerous designs, and some pretty attractive images among them, such as the Caucasian goat and the Temple of Garni.”
”As if an extensive commemorative coinage program is not enough, Armenia issued in 2012 a silver bullion set of coins with the theme of Noah’s Ark (since the resting place of the ark has often been believed to be in Armenia). Most of us can afford the silver pieces that are fractions of an ounce, and even the 1-ounce and 5-ounce coins. But the 1-kilo and 5-kilo pieces, with nominal values of 10,000 dram and 20,000 dram, might just be out of reach,” the article concludes.