From the history of Armenian coins. First Armenian coins

From the history of Armenian coins. First Armenian coins

The coins of kings of Sophene (Tsopk) dated to the second half of the 3rd century BC are believed to the first Armenian coins.

The history of Armenian money is rich, diverse and interesting. Armenians are undoubtedly one of the nations with the ancient money history, as the territory of historical Armenia was in the vicinity of the birthplace of the first antique coins. Coinage, which is considered to be a major event in the development of society, started approximately at the end of the 8th or at the beginning of 7th century BC in Lydia, an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland Izmir.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The oldest coins found in the territory of Armenia date back to 6th-5th centuries BC. These are silver coins made in the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek cities of Athens and Miletus.

In the middle of the 6th century BC, Armenia fell under the rule of the Achaemenid Empire and its territory was divided into eastern and western parts consisting of areas governed by satraps, who got the right to coin at the end of the 5th century BC.

Oront (in Armenian sources mentioned as Yervant, 362-345 BC), the satrap of the eastern part of Armenia, and Tiribaz (386-380 BC), who governed the western part, had coins with their own images.

It’s noteworthy that coins of Macedonian king Philip II (359-336 BC) and Alexander the Great were discovered in the territory of Armenia, although there is not enough evidence that the locals used money at that time, and, apparently, trade was conducted through exchange. However, the discovery proves that the people knew about the usage of coins.

The coins of kings of Sophene (Tsopk) dated to the second half of the 3rd century BC are believed to the first Armenian coins.

The coins of the following Armenian kings are known: Sames (about 260 BC), Arsham I (about 240 BC), Arsham II (about 230 BC), Xerxes (about 220 BC), Abdidares (about 210 BC).

Description of coins First Armenian coins were copper coins, with a very small number of them preserved. The coins of the period of Sophene kings’ rule were minted in Hellenistic style. The obverse showed the image of the ruler (profile of the king in a characteristic pointed headdress). The reverse demonstrated various mythological images, for example a horseman symbolizing the king, an eagle, or the name of the king in Greek letters.

The material was prepared in cooperation with Gevorg Mughalyan, the numismatist of the Central Bank of Armenia.

Viktoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN.Net, Varo Rafayelyan / PanARMENIAN Photo
| Project partner
 Most popular in the section
Thies Clemenz: I wish that the Dram will continue to power Armenia’s economy as it moves into the next stage of its growth.
The CBA has issued series of silver, gold, copper-nickel alloy coins since 1994; 193 types of coins were issued as of Feb 2013.
All bank notes have high level of protection.
In many countries, transactions with investment coins are VAT-exempt, what makes them attractive for the population.
 At focus
Azeris shell Armenian villages, retreat with wounded

Azeris shell Armenian villages, retreat with wounded Azerbaijani armed forces shelled the Armenian border villages of Nerkin Karmaghbyur, Movses and Aygepar overnight.

 More articles in this section
Battle of Sardarapat: A Story of Courage On May 28, Armenia marks the Day of the First Republic proclaimed in 1918 following a victory over Ottoman Forces in Sardarapat Battle.
From the history of Armenian coins: birth of Armenian dram on Nov 22, 1993 Soviet rubles had been circulating up until November 22, 1993 when the state currency – dram - was released.
From the history of Armenian coins: Soviet commemorative coins dedicated to Armenia 68 types of commemorative coins were minted during the period between 1965 and 1991 out of copper-nickel alloy.