The modern Greek drachma was the currency unit of Greece. The ISO code was GRD. The currency had the lepto as a sub-unit, with one drachma corresponding to 100 lepta. So the currency was a decimal currency. There were aluminum coins worth five, ten, twenty, and fifty lepta.
Drachma coins came in one, two, five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred and five hundred drachmas. Bills of 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 drachmas were in circulation.
The word “drachma” means “seize, take” in the sense of “a handful”.
Exchange the drachma into euros
In 2001 Greece joined the European Monetary Union, where the drachma was pegged to the euro at a ratio of 340.750 GRD to 1 EUR. In 2002, the euro cash was introduced, with the Lepto being retained as the Greek name for the euro cent. Coins could be exchanged at the Greek central bank until March 1st, 2004 and banknotes until March 1st, 2012.
The ancient drachm
The ancient drachm was a unit for weights and coins made of silver. This system of coins arranged a drachma into individual subdivisions. One talent consisted of 60 mines and one mine consisted of 100 drachmas.
Four drachms formed a tetradrachm and two drachms formed a stater. A drachm consisted of six oboli, a hemidrachm of three oboli or a tribolos. The obolus was the smallest coin that was rarely divided into even smaller units.
Drachmas were flat due to their embossing on their back and very plastic on the front. They showed a high level of embossing technology and were very finely worked out.
The modern Greek drachma
The drachma was first introduced as the currency of Greece in 1831 and replaced the “Phoenix”, which was Greece’s first currency from 1828 to 1831. The name of the modern drachma comes from the ancient unit of coin and weight of the same name.
From 1868 Greece belonged to the Latin Monetary Union. The result was that the drachma was pegged 1: 1 to the currencies of the Union during this period. This union of coins was ended by the First World War. It lost its importance and was completely dissolved in 1927.
There were two devaluations in the twentieth century: The devaluation of the first drachma took place in 1944 at a ratio of 50,000,000,000:1. The second drachma was created, but in 1954 it was devalued at a ratio of 1000: 1 to the third drachma. The currency was part of the Bretton Woods system and was pegged to the US dollar at a ratio of 30: 1 from 1954 to 1973.