5 euro - The First Coins of the Greek State - The Drachma
By virtue of King Otto’s Royal Decree of 8 February 1833, the drachma replaced the phoenix and, in August 1833, public revenue offices were explicitly prohibited from accepting Ottoman currency. As stipulated in the same decree, the drachma was to be issued in silver, copper and gold. In a similar vein, the capital was moved from Nafplion to Athens, in order to symbolically reconnect with Greece’s glorious past. The new coin, the silver drachma, weighed 4.477 gr, of which 4.029 were pure silver and 0.448 copper. The minting year inscribed on the first drachma coins and their subdivisions was 1832, as they had already been struck in Bavaria (Munich) and delivered to King Otto’s regents. The Athens Royal Mint started operations in 1836, but until 1841 only minted the drachma’s copper subdivisions. The minting of silver coins began in 1842. Gold drachmas were minted only in large denominations (20 or 40 drachmas), in a limited edition. By virtue of the Royal Decree of 12 July 1843, the exclusive right to issue drachma notes was granted to the newly founded National Bank of Greece, which maintained this privilege until the establishment of the Bank of Greece in 1928.