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What is a drachma? Currency Description

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What is a drachma? Currency Description
What is a drachma? Currency Description

Every country has its own currency. With the advent of global integration and the European Union, some of them have gone down in history. The same applies to the drachma currency, which existed in Greece, but with the advent of the European Union gave way to the euro. History is fading, so many are now wondering what is a drachma?

Paper drachma

History of Appearance

Drachma existed in ancient Greek policies and reached the time of Greece's independence in the 20th century. It is the most ancient currency in the world, its age is more than 2000 years. In ancient times, each city had its own type of drachma. The first banknote was issued back in 1863 and had a denomination of 25 drachmas. Initially, Greece did not have its own enterprise for the manufacture of money, so they were printed in America. And the first enterprise appeared only in 1941, but because of the Second World War, the printing of its own money in Greece began only in 1947.

Drachma currency photo


In ancient Greece, it was customary to mint coins from precious metals. Initially, small denomination coins were forged from silver and copper, and coins from 5 drachmas and above were minted fromgold. But in 1926, 5 drachmas and below were minted from copper, and 10 and 20 became silver. In 1960, there was a monetary reform, and coins were minted from a copper-nickel alloy. By the transition to the euro, the following denominations of the drachma currency were in circulation: 1, 2, 5, 10, as well as 20, 50 and 100.

Rejection of the national currency

By the time the decision was made to switch to the euro and join the European Union, the drachma exchange rate against the euro was 340 to 1. The country entered the monetary union in 2001, and all recalculations and currency replacements lasted for another 2 years. The need for this transition was associated with the difficult economic situation of the country at the turn of the millennium. Almost all partners in the European Union were economically stronger than Greece.

Consequences of the transition

Very many in Greece noted the negative consequences of the transition to the euro. If before the transition to a thousand drachmas it was possible to live for two weeks, then after the transition for this equivalent it was impossible to buy bottles of water. In 2015, the Greek government even planned to introduce a dual-currency economy policy, in which payments could be made in both euros and drachmas. At the moment, this topic has not yet been exhausted, because discontent and tension in society are still present.


Currently, the most ancient currency has remained in history. She disappeared forever or for some time, the government and the people of Greece will decide. But at the moment, when asked what a drachma is, one can answer that it is history.

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