Year of the Monkey

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October 22, 2015 – 2016 will be the Year of the Monkey. On behalf of Mongolia, Coin Invest Trust created a commemorative coin that will enchant (not just) all those who are fascinated by Chinese astrology.

Mongolia / 500 Togrog / Silver .999 / 25 g / 38.61 mm / Mintage: 2016.

The obverse of the coin, that is available in gold and in silver, depicts the coat of arms of the issuing nation. It further states nominal value, weight, and fineness. The silver version shows the state’s name, MONGOLIA.

The reverse of both versions shows a stylised monkey facing left. Above, the inscription YEAR OF THE MONKEY, to the left, the Chinese character for “monkey” as well as the year of issue, 2016. The monkey is hand-crafted in high relief on the silver version of which no more than 2016 specimens are produced, in accordance with the year of issue.

Yin-yang and animals of the Chinese zodiac. Qingyanggong temple, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Photograph: Felix Andrews (Flobyx) /

Chinese astrology, which is widely spread all across Asia, originated 4500 years ago. An important aspect of it is the Chinese horoscope. It is based on the zodiac signs which were established during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220). Unlike the European zodiac signs, they do not use constellations as a reference system but specially defined years. Those years do not begin on 1 January but with the second new moon after the winter solstice, i.e. on a date between 21 January and 21 February. 
According to Chinese belief, the character of a person is closely tied to the animal of his or her year of birth. The origin of the order of succession is passed on in an ancient legend: One day Buddha invited all animals to celebrate New Year. But since the rat had given the cat a wrong date, the latter slept through the date and only 12 animals came. Buddha named the years in the order of their appearance: rat, buffalo, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The cycle starts anew every 12 years.
The year of the monkey will begin on 8 February 2016. Previously, its years were 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, and 2004. Chinese astrology attributes very special character traits to people born in those years: It is said that they are intelligent, curious and rational, but at the same time have a good sense of humour, are entertaining and charming. Thanks to their flexibility and mental agility they are usually able to find a way even in difficult situations.
Famous people in the Western societies born in the year of the monkey are, for instance, Pope John Paul II, Tom Hanks, Joe Cocker, and Michael Schumacher.
The coin is minted by B. H. Mayer‘s Kunstprägeanstalt GmbH. Collectors can purchase the issue through specialty dealers.
More information on this and other releases of CIT is available here
A typology of people born in a certain Year of the Monkey can be found here.
And if you would like to learn what the Year of the Monkey 2016 has in store for you, please click here.