The ancient hooligan, Hercules, strangles a bull for the seventh task of twelve in Niue’s silver coin series

This series of twelve coins produced by Coin Shoppe in Canada, and Magikos Coins in Poland, is struck by the Mint of Poland, and follows their classic format of two ounces of silver, high-relief, rimless, and antique finished. It’s a popular format for a reason. The journey through the labours of Hercules started back in 2017, and has continued at the rate of one-per-annum ever since. For the 2023 issue, it’s the tale of the Cretan Bull.

Hercules, the legendary demigod of Greek mythology, faced the Cretan Bull as his seventh labour. This fierce and monstrous creature, a gift from Poseidon to King Minos of Crete, wreaked havoc across the island. Hercules subdued the bull’s wild rampage with his unmatched strength and cunning. Struggling in a fierce battle, he eventually managed to wrestle the bull into submission, showcasing his prowess and valour once more.

We only have coin renders at the moment, but we’ve seen one of the earlier coins in hand, and it was first class. Besides, if you’re collecting this series, you’ll know the quality of them by now. The style of those continues here, with Hercules depicted subduing the bull. It looks good, and we can safely assume the finished article will live up to expectations.

The common obverse returns, but with the usual small change. The twelve symbols around the edge represent the twelve tasks, and one of them, that matches the task on the reverse face, is gilded. This is also the first issue to feature the Public Seal of Niue, in place of the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Boxed with a C.O.A., the coin has a mintage of 500 pieces, and can be purchased from Coin Shoppe and Magikos Coins, with wider availability in September. It should ship in November.


Hercules was married to Megara, the daughter of King Kreo of Thebes, and together they had five children. Unfortunately, the goddess Hera drove Hercules insane in a fit of jealousy and he killed his wife and children.

Driven mad by Hera (queen of the gods), Hercules slew his son, daughter, and wife Megara. After recovering his sanity, Hercules deeply regretted his actions; he was purified by King Thespius, then traveled to Delphi to inquire how he could atone for his actions. Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, advised him to go to Tiryns and serve his cousin King Eurystheus for twelve years, performing whatever labours Eurystheus might set him; in return, he would be rewarded with immortality. Hercules despaired at this, loathing to serve a man whom he knew to be far inferior to himself, yet fearing to oppose his father Zeus. Eventually, he placed himself at Eurystheus’s disposal.

Eurystheus originally ordered Hercules to perform ten labours. Hercules accomplished these tasks, but Eurystheus refused to recognize two: the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra, as Hercules’ nephew and charioteer Iolaus had helped him; and the cleansing of the Augeas, because Hercules accepted payment for the labour. Eurystheus set two more tasks (fetching the Golden Apples of Hesperides and capturing Cerberus), which Hercules also performed, bringing the total number of tasks to twelve.

01 – Slay the Nemean lion.

02 – Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.

03 – Capture the Ceryneian Hind.

04 – Capture the Erymanthian Boar.

05 – Clean the Augean stables in a single day.

06 – Slay the Stymphalian birds.

07 – Capture the Cretan Bull.

08 – Steal the Mares of Diomedes.

09 – Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta.

10 – Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.

11 – Steal the apples of the Hesperides.

12 – Capture and bring back Cerberus.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes