It may have taken over 70 years, but England has finally received its shipment of tons of silver coins.
The coins spent most of those years at the bottom of the Atlantic due to being aboard a ship that was sunk during World War II.
According to CNN, a German U-boat sunk the unguarded SS City of Cairo in November 1942. The SS City of Cairo was carrying 296 civilians and cargo that included 100 tons of silver. The vessel wasn’t discovered until 2011 when Deep Ocean Search chose to venture out in look for it after it sunk more than 16,000 feet under the surface.
The City of Cairo was tasked to bring silver rupees from India to England as part of the war effort. Unfortunately, the ship was hit with two torpedoes after stopping in Brazil, causing it to sink in the Atlantic.
After the ship sank, the U-boat surfaced and the captain spoke to the survivors in their lifeboats saying, “Goodnight, sorry for sinking you.” His words were later used as the title for a book about the event.
A handful of people died as a result of the attack, but about 100 more people died as the six boats attempted to make it to land. All but two people survived when the last of the lifeboats were found 51 days later.
The City of Cairo was found by a sub owned by Deep Ocean Research. The vessel was split in two and buried by silt.
“Under contract to the UK Ministry of Transport, DOS recovered several tens of tons of silver coins from a depth of (5,150 meters),” said the company.
BBC reported the coins were melted and the silver was sold, a percentage going to Deep Ocean Search and the rest going went to the UK Treasury. Today, 100 tons of silver is worth about $50 million.