Drachma History October 08, 2013 00:00

I thought I would share some Drachma history with you in hopes that it will help explain not only the images you will see on our products but why it's an important part of the Greek culture. Most people don't know that the Drachma was one of the world's earliest coins. The Drachma was removed from circulation once before but was brought back in the early 1830s with the restoration of Greek Independence. It was then replaced with the Euro in 2002.

As I have mentioned on the website, Drachma's name derives from the Greek verb meaning "to grasp", and it was often decorated with national heroes and fighters of the Greek Revolution of 1821. Each city would mint its own Drachma and have them stamped with recognizable symbols of the city, along with suitable inscriptions, and they would often be referred to either by the name of the city or or the image depicted. It's an interesting fact that Drachma was the most widely circulated coin in the world prior to the time of Alexander the Great. After Alexander the Great's conquests, the name drachma was used in many of the Hellenistic kingdoms in the Middle East. The Arabic unit of currency known as dirham inherited it's name from the drachma; the dirham is still the name of the official currencies of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

The Armenian dram also derives its name from the drachma. Today, Drachma has very little monetary value. Collectors pay a range of prices for Drachma coins and banknotes, but it's the Drachma's images that keep people intrigued. These are the images I use on our Drachma coasters. Our designs represent the Modern drachma coins that showed flags, crests, ancient sculpture, maps and other obvious Greek imagery. See our Greek Drachma Coasters. Please also remember to check out our Drachma inspired wall Medallions. I will also be selling a new T-shirt design soon.

There have been discussions lately about whether or not Drachma should make a comeback and replace the Euro. Several articles over the last few years in The New York Times, have discussed Greece returning to using Drachma and how it would affect local businesses and the economy. Some experts believe the economy would thrive again, others believe the opposite.

What do you think?