Sunken treasure: Royal Mint strikes coins 70 years later

The Royal Mint in Llantrisant is striking a set of silver coins from the bullion recovered from a merchant ship that sank during the Second World War.

A 'limited number' of silver coins are being struck from the bullion.

British steam merchant ship SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed by a German U-boat in February 1941 off the coast of Ireland, whilst it was carrying a large shipment of silver bullion bars from India, destined for the Royal Mint.

The ship was heading for the Royal Mint when it was sunk more than 70 years ago. Credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration

The ship and its cargo were located in September 2011, and the silver bullion recovered by marine exploration company Odyssey Marine Exploration.

The bullion was three miles underwater - which they say made it the largest and deepest recovery of precious metal from a shipwreck in history.

The coins are edged with the name SS Gairsoppa.

Shane Bissett from the Royal Mint said: "The traditional Britannia coin design is the perfect image for the coins struck from SS Gairsoppa's long-lost cargo. We are so pleased to be able to bring these coins to the market at long last, albeit more than 70 years later than expected."