The dating system described below was in use in Mongolia from 1911 AD util 1945 AD. After that Arabic numerals were used to indicate the date in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
The Outer Mongolian revolution took place in 1911 AD, which overthrew the Manchurian empire protectorate. As a result of that, the new, independent Mongolian state was established. Therefore, the year of revolution, 1911 AD, had become the first year of Mongolian independence. Until 1945 AD Mongolian coins have been dated in accordance with this system. Strictly speaking, the revolution started on June 10th and had finished on December 1st, 1911, therefore the 1st year corresponds to 1911–1912, the 10th year stands for 1920–1921, the 25th is for 1935–1936, and so on. To simplify the calculations, we only consider the first of these two years.
The Mongolian written language based on the Cyrillic alphabet has a number of meanings for the word «year», in particular, «ÆÈË» and «ÎÍ». Phrases like «this or that number of years (has passed since…)» (especially when we speak about the anniversary of some event) are translated into Mongolian with the word «ÆÈË», like this: «50 ÆÈË» stands for «50 years (…anniversary of independence)». On the contrary, saying something like «this or that year of mintage» requires the word «ÎÍ». We can see it in the date inscription «35 ÎÍ» relating to the period 1945–1946. This phrase means that the coin was minted in the 35th year of independence.
Description of the Mongolian symbol called «soyombo»
Both on Mongolian coins of that time and on the Mongolian State Flag there is an emblem that looks like this:
This graphic symbol is called the «Soyombo». For a long time the Soyombo was seen by the Mongolians as a national emblem of freedom and independence. The «Soyombo» ideogram is full of lofty, wise symbolism; it is read as an exhortation or a commandment.
Formerly — in the Soviet period, — this emblem had been crowned with a 5-pointed star — the symbol of socialism and a radiant future. The figure on the top of the ideogram stands for fire, embodying the prosperity of man, the generation and the people, symbolizing nativity and welfare. The 3 flame tips stand for the past, the present and the future, respectively. Right below the fire you can see an ancient national Mongolian sign: the Sun and the Moon. Time-honoured Mongolian legends tell us the following: «We are the people whose father is the New Moon and whose mother is the Golden Sun». Triangles in the emblem are implied to be the symbols of combat. For a long time an arrowhead or spearhead, disposed point downward, used to be understood as a war cry «Death to our enemies!». Upper and lower rectangles stand for straightforwardness, justice and honour.
In the center of the «Soyombo» you can see a sign that looks like a couple of fish. Mongolian folklore describes them as a man and a woman, or mind and wisdom. Generally speaking, this is to signify the unity of pairs of natural elements, like fire and water, earth and sky. On the whole, this sign is interpreted in the following way: «Let the whole nation be wise and reasonable, vigilant and watchful». The Mongolians see fish as a symbol of vigilance since fish never close their eyes.
One can see though that this symbol looking like a couple of fish is actually the classic Chinese yin and yang.
To the left and right the ideogram is limited with two vertical rectangles, symbolizing fortitude and strength of mind. An old Mongolian proverb goes: «Two friends are stronger than stone walls». In the Soyombo, these 2 lines are understood to be an appeal, «May the whole nation be bound together by ties of friendship turning it into an indestructible stone fortress.»
Monetary system of present day Mongolia
The currency of Mongolia is called the tugrik. 1 tugrik is subdivided into 100 mungoo. None of the coins are actually in circulation at the moment. Only bank notes are used, their principal values varying from 1 to 20,000 tugriks.