DRACHMA (Greek : δραχμή Modern Greek: , Ancient Greek: ; pl.
drachmae or drachmas) was the currency used in
* An ancient Greek currency unit issued by many Greek city states
during a period of ten centuries, from the Archaic period throughout
the Classical period , the
It was also a small unit of weight .
* 1 Ancient drachma
* 1.1 Value
* 1.2 Denominations of Ancient
* 2 Modern drachma
* 2.1 First modern drachma
* 2.1.1 Coins * 2.1.2 Notes
* 2.2 Second modern drachma
* 2.3 Third modern drachma
* 2.3.1 Third modern drachma coins * 2.3.2 Gallery * 2.3.3 Banknotes * 2.3.4 Gallery (banknotes)
* 3 Encoding * 4 In popular culture * 5 See also * 6 Restoration * 7 Notes and references * 8 External links
The name drachma is derived from the verb δράσσομαι
(drássomai, "(I) grasp"). It is believed that the same word with the
meaning of "handful" or "handle" is found in
It was the standard unit of silver coinage at most ancient Greek
mints, and the name obol was used to describe a coin that was
one-sixth of a drachma. The notion that drachma derived from the word
for fistful was recorded by Herakleides of Pontos (387–312 BC) who
was informed by the priests of Heraion that
Pheidon , king of Argos,
dedicated rod-shaped obeloi to Heraion. Similar information about
Pheidon's obeloi was also recorded at the
Ancient Greek coins normally had distinctive names in daily use. The Athenian tetradrachm was called owl , the Aeginetic stater was called chelone , the Corinthian stater was called hippos (horse ) an so on. Each city would mint its own and have them stamped with recognizable symbols of the city , known as badge in numismatics, along with suitable inscriptions, and they would often be referred to either by the name of the city or of the image depicted. The exact exchange value of each was determined by the quantity and quality of the metal, which reflected on the reputation of each mint.
Among the Greek cities that used the drachma were: Abdera , Abydos ,
The 5th century BC Athenian tetradrachm ("four drachmae") coin was
perhaps the most widely used coin in the Greek world prior to the time
Alexander the Great
Drachmae were minted on different weight standards at different Greek mints. The standard that came to be most commonly used was the Athenian or Attic one, which weighed a little over 4.3 grams.
Alexander the Great
It is difficult to estimate comparative exchange rates with modern
currency because the range of products produced by economies of
centuries gone by were different from today, which makes purchasing
power parity (PPP) calculations very difficult; however, some
historians and economists have estimated that in the 5th century BC a
drachma had a rough value of 25 U.S. dollars (in the year 1990 –
equivalent to 46.50
Modern commentators derived from
A modern person might think of one drachma as the rough equivalent of
a skilled worker's daily pay in the place where they live, which could
be as low as $1
Fractions and multiples of the drachma were minted by many states,
most notably in
Notable Ptolemaic coins included the gold pentadrachm and octadrachm, and silver tetradrachm, decadrachm and pentakaidecadrachm. This was especially noteworthy as it would not be until the introduction of the Guldengroschen in 1486 that coins of substantial size (particularly in silver) would be minted in significant quantities.
For the Roman successors of the drachma, see Roman provincial coins .
DENOMINATIONS OF ANCIENT GREEK DRACHMA
The weight of the silver drachma was approximately 4.3 grams or 0.15 ounces, although weights varied significantly from one city-state to another. It was divided into six obols of 0.72 grams, which were subdivided into four tetartemoria of 0.18 grams, one of the smallest coins ever struck, approximately 5–7 mm in diameter.
DENOMINATIONS OF SILVER DRACHMA
IMAGE DENOMINATION VALUE WEIGHT GREEK
Dekadrachm 10 drachmae 43 grams Δεκάδραχμον
Tetradrachm 4 drachmae 17.2 grams Τετράδραχμον
Didrachm 2 drachmae 8.6 grams Δίδραχμον
Drachma 6 obols 4.3 grams Δραχμή
Tetrobol 4 obols 2.85 grams Τετρώβολον
Triobol (hemidrachm) 3 obols ( 1⁄2 drachma) 2.15 grams Τριώβολον (ἡμίδραχμον)
Diobol 2 obols 1.43 grams Διώβολον
Obol 4 tetartemoria ( 1⁄6 drachma) 0.72 grams Ὀβολός (ὀβελός)
Tritartemorion 3 tetartemoria 0.54 grams Τριταρτημόριον (τριτημόριον)
Hemiobol 2 tetartemoria ( 1⁄2 obol) 0.36 grams Ἡμιωβέλιον (ἡμιωβόλιον)
Trihemitetartemorion 3⁄2 tetartemorion 0.27 grams Τριημιτεταρτημόριον
Tetartemorion 1⁄4 obol 0.18 grams Τεταρτημόριον (ταρτημόριον, ταρτήμορον)
Hemitetartemorion 1⁄2 tetartemorion 0.09 grams Ἡμιτεταρτημόριον
HISTORIC CURRENCY DIVISIONS
8 chalkoi = 1 obolus 6 oboloi = 1 drachma 70 drachmae = 1 mina (or mna), later 100 drachmae = 1 mina 60 minae = 1 Athenian Talent (Athenian standard)
Minae and talents were never actually minted: they represented weight
measures used for commodities (e.g. grain) as well as metals like
silver or gold. The
Modern drachma coins
1/100 leptοn (Λ.)
SYMBOL Δρχ., Δρ. or ₯
FREQ. USED 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000 Δρ.
RARELY USED 50 Δρ.
FREQ. USED 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 Δρ.
RARELY USED 10 Λ., 20 Λ., 50 Λ., 1 and 2 Δρ.
INFLATION 3.1% (2000)
SINCE March 1998
FIXED RATE SINCE 19 June 2000
REPLACED BY €, NON CASH 1 January 2001
REPLACED BY €, CASH 1 January 2002
€ = 340.750 Δρ.
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
FIRST MODERN DRACHMA
The drachma was reintroduced in May 1832, shortly before the
establishment of the modern state of
The first coinage consisted of copper denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 lepta, silver denominations of 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1 and 5 drachmae and a gold coin of 20 drachmae. The drachma coin weighed 4.5 g and contained 90% silver, with the 20-drachma coin containing 5.8 g of gold.
In 1894, cupro-nickel 5-, 10- and 20-lepta coins were introduced. No
1-lepton or 2-lepta coin had been issued since the late 1870s. Silver
coins of 1 and 2 drachmae were last issued in 1911, and no coins were
issued between 1912 and 1922, during which time the Latin Monetary
Union collapsed due to
World War I
Between 1926 and 1930, a new coinage was introduced for the new Hellenic Republic, consisting of cupro-nickel coins in denominations of 20 lepta, 50 lepta, 1 drachma, and 2 drachmae; nickel coins of 5 drachmae; and silver coins of 10 and 20 drachmae. These were the last coins issued for the first modern drachma, and none were issued for the second.
Notes were issued by the National Bank of
Between 1917 and 1920, the Greek government issued paper money in
denominations of 10 lepta, 50 lepta, 1 drachma, 2 drachmae, and 5
drachmae. The National Bank of
During the German -Italian occupation of
SECOND MODERN DRACHMA
In November 1944, after
THIRD MODERN DRACHMA
In 1953, in an effort to halt inflation,
The first issue of coins minted in 1954 consisted of holed aluminium 5-, 10- and 20-lepton pieces, with 50-lepton, 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-drachma pieces in cupro-nickel. A silver 20-drachma piece was issued in 1960, replacing the 20-drachma banknote. Coins in denominations from 50 lepta to 20 drachmae carried a portrait of King Paul (1947–1964). New coins were introduced in 1966, ranging from 50 lepta to 10 drachmae, depicting King Constantine II (1964–1974). The reverse of all coins was altered in 1971 to reflect the military junta which was in power from 1967 to 1974. This design included a soldier standing in front of the flames of the rising phoenix.
A 20-drachmae coin in cupro-nickel with an image of Europa on the
obverse was issued in 1973. In the latter part of 1973, several new
coin types were introduced: unholed aluminium (10 and 20 lepta),
nickel-brass (50 lepta, 1 drachma, and 2 drachmae) and cupro-nickel
(5, 10, and 20 drachmae). These provisional coins carried the design
of the phoenix rising from the flame on the obverse, and used the
country's new designation as the "Hellenic Republic", replacing the
coins also issued in 1973 as the Kingdom of
Coins in circulation at the time of the adoption of the euro were
* 50 lepta (€0.0015) * 1 drachma (€0.0029) * 2 drachmae (€0.0059) * 5 drachmae (€0.0147) * 10 drachmae (€0.0293) * 20 drachmae (€0.0587) * 50 drachmae (€0.147) * 100 drachmae (€0.293) * 500 drachmae (€1.47)
Gold 20 Drachmai, 1833 of king Othon *
Gold 20 Drachmai, 1876 of king Georgios I *
Gold 50 Drachmai, 1876 of king Georgios I *
5 drachmae (1876) *
1 drachma (1973) during the 1973-1974 military-controlled "Republic" *
1 drachma (1978) *
The first issues of banknotes were in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 drachmae, soon followed by 100, 500 and 1000 drachmae by 1956. 5000-drachma notes were introduced in 1984, followed by 10,000-drachma notes in 1995 and 200-drachma notes in 1997.
Banknotes in circulation at the time of the adoption of the euro were
* 100 drachmae (€0.2935), depicting
BANKNOTES OF THE GREEK DRACHMA (CIRCA AD 2000)
IMAGE VALUE EQUIVALENT IN EURO (€) MAIN COLOR OBVERSE REVERSE WATERMARK
Brown and violet (obverse); Maroon, green and orange (reverse)
Head of Piraeus
Rigas Feraios; Feraios singing his patriotic song at lower right
10,000 drachmae €29.35 Deep purple George Papanicolaou; microscope Asclepius Bust of Philip of Macedonia
5 drachmae banknote (1912) *
5,000,000 drachmae banknote (1944) during the Axis Occupation hyperinflation period *
20 drachmae banknote (1955) *
50 drachmae banknote (1964) *
100 drachmae banknote (1967)
In Unicode, the currency symbol is U+20AF ₯
IN POPULAR CULTURE
* The golden drachma is the main unit of currency in Rick Riordan\'s Percy Jackson ">
* ^ is also made up. * ^ δράσσομαι, drassomai, "grasp"; cf. : δράξ, drax, and drachma itself, i.e. "grasp with the hand". * ^ "As much as one can hold in the hand". * ^ The word, whose meaning and translation is still uncertain, is 𐀈𐀏𐀔, do-ka-ma or 𐀈𐀏𐀔𐀂, do-ka-ma-i, found on the PY An 1282 and PY Wr 1480 tablets. * ^ Τριόβολον spelling variant is also attested. * ^ Ἡμιοβόλιον spelling variant is also attested. * ^ Greek: λεπτά; plural of λεπτόν, lepton. * ^ Minted but rarely used. Usually, prices were rounded up to the next multiple of 10 drachmae. * ^ A B Not minted but remained legal tender (not in actual use in 2002).
* ^ A B C D δραχμή. Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A
Greek–English Lexicon at the
Perseus Project .
* ^ A B δράσσομαι in Liddell and Scott .
* ^ Shelmerdine, Cynthia W.; Bennet, John (January 1, 1995). "Two
* ^ http://www.bankofgreece.gr/en/Banknotes/coins.htm
* ^ "History of Greek Banknotes". Greekcurrency.110mb.com.
* ^ fileformat.info Entry for (U+10142)
* ^ "Political Party
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Preceded by Greek phoenix GREEK CURRENCY 1832–2001 Succeeded by euro
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