British Indian Ocean Territory
 

 
                      1512  Possibly discovered by Pedro de Mascarenhas and claimed
                             for Portugal, not occupied (Diego Garcia named Ilha de Dom
                             Garcia).
                      1559  Name Diego Garcia first used on a map created by Edward
                             Wright.
               23 Sep 1721  Claimed for France as part of Mauritius.
                  Jan 1745  First recorded landing on Diego Garcia by the British ship
                             Pelham.
                      1768  French Capt. Dufresne lands on Diego Garcia.
                      1785  First French settlements begin on Diego Garcia.
               27 Apr 1786  Chagos Islands and Diego Garcia claimed for Britain
                      1786  Formally annexed by France.
               17 May 1810  Part of British colony of Seychelles.
               30 May 1814  British possession confirmed by the Treaty of Paris, part of
                             Seychelles (Oil Islands).
               31 Aug 1903  Chagos Archipelago separated from Seychelles and attached to
                             Mauritius.
    Feb 1942 - Sep 1945     British garrison Diego Garcia.
               08 Nov 1965  British Indian Ocean Territory established from parts of the
                             Seychelles and Mauritius (Chagos Archipelago, [including
                             Diego Garcia], Aldabra Islands, Farquhar and the Des Roches
                             Islands).
               17 Jul 1966  British evacuation of native islanders begins (completed in
                             1973).
               30 Dec 1966  British-U.S. base leasing agreement for Diego Garcia (U.S.
                             Naval Communications Station Diego Garcia commissioned
                             20 Mar 1973).
               03 Apr 1967  Britain buys all the plantations on the islands.
               29 Jun 1976  Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches Islands returned to
                             independent Seychelles.
               01 Oct 1977  U.S. Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia opened.
               02 Nov 2000  British High Court overturns 1971 immigration ban.
               11 Jun 2004  BIOT law overturns 2000 court ruling.
               11 May 2006  The Court overturns the 2004 law.
               22 Oct 2008  The British House of Lords votes to support the government
                             decision denying the islanders return.
 
The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean, halfway between Africa and Indonesia. The territory comprises the six atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands (many tiny) having a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi). The largest island is Diego Garcia (area 44 km2), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United States. The territory is an archipelago of 55 islands, the largest being Diego Garcia, accounting for almost three-quarters of the total land area of the territory. Capital: Diego Garcia.

The Arms consist of a shield bearing the Union Flag in the top quarter, a palm tree and St. Edward’s Crown in the middle half, with three white wavy lines representing the ocean in the bottom quarter. The two supporters are Turtles (Green and Hawksbill) representing the local native wildlife. The Coat and Arms also consists of a Crown and Castle bearing the Territory’s flag. The motto in Latin is "In Tutela Nostra Limuria", in English this translates "Limuria is in our Trust" and refers to the non-existent continent of Limuria, once thought to occupy the Indian Ocean.

As a territory of the United Kingdom, the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. There is no Governor appointed to represent the Queen on the territory, as there are no longer any native inhabitants. The head of government is the Commissioner. The laws of the territory are based on the constitution, set out in the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004, which gives the Commissioner full powers to make laws for the Territory. Applicable treaties between the United Kingdom and the United States govern the use of the military base. The United States is required to ask permission of the United Kingdom to use the base for offensive military action.
 
Currency: Postage stamps have been issued for British Indian Ocean Territory since 17 January 1968. Since the territory was originally part of the Seychelles, these stamps were denominated in rupees until 1992. However, after 1992 they became denominated in Pound sterling which is the official currency of the territory. The first commemorative coin of two Pounds were issued on 2009.
 

KM#1 2 Pounds. Year: 2009. Weight: 28.40g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 38.60 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Pobjoy Mint. Obverse: Elizabeth II bust facing right. "ELIZABETH II. 2009 . BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY" written around her. Reverse: Coat and Arms of British Indian Ocean Territory in the center. "FIRST COMMEMORATIVE COIN OF THE BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY" written around. Value "£2" at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type. Commissioner: Colin Roberts (23 Jun 2008 - 17 Oct 2012) under British monarch: Elizabeth II [Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor].

Note: This is the last British territory to produce its own coin. Ms Joanne Mary Yeadon, Administrator of British Indian Ocean Territory (03 Dec 2007 - Apr 2011) was invited by the Pobjoy Mint during the strike of these coins.

 
 
 
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