The government and treasury of the British Indian Ocean Territory have released their first-ever bullion-related silver coins to the market and collectors. Chosen for the reverse design is one of the territory’s most well-known sea inhabitants, the turtle.
Somewhat of a far-flung outpost of the British overseas territory of the United Kingdom, British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia, and directly south of the Maldives. As the territory comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands, many of which are very small, this makes an ideal ground for breeding and conservation. As such, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) plays a crucial role as a foraging ground for immature sea turtles that feed in the shallow lagoons. Ongoing conservation work has shown that the sea turtles remain in these environments for many years before they travel back to their natal nesting areas to breed as adults.
Unfortunately, the sea turtle population was exploited for many years as a source of food and jewellery trade from the local islanders and passing merchant ships. Until relatively recently, the British government, which is in charge of the territory created the world’s largest no-take marine protected area (MPA) in 2010. This region includes the British Indian Ocean Territory, as well as the some of the world’s most pristine tropical coral reefs, along with the 58 islands of the archipelago that are native to multiple endangered species such as the hawksbill and green sea turtle. Fast forward to today, and with the help of the British government, it is estimated that around 1,000 adults of both species, the hawksbill and green sea turtle, nest annually. This initiative has greatly helped with the recent increase of population for both the hawksbill and green sea turtle.
The coins are produced by the Pobjoy Mint at their facilities in Surrey, England, on behalf of the government and treasury of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The reverse side depicts a sea turtle swimming in its natural environs. Below the turtle is the denomination of 1 ROYAL and just under the turtle itself if the metal’s fineness of Ag 999.9.
The obverse side includes an effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which is an exclusive design of the Pobjoy Mint. The legend around the Queen’s likeness includes the authority of issue and year of issue.
|31.1 g||38.6 mm||Bullion||
Each coin is protectively wrapped in a vinyl heat-sealed sleeve and available exclusively from the North American bullion distributor APMEX in any quantity. Air-tight capsules and presentation cases are also available for this coin for an additional cost. For additional information, please visit their website.