Powering their way through an ancient tale describing the twelve tasks of the demi-god, Hercules, the Mint of Poland, in conjunction with Coin Shoppe and Magikos Coins, have now launched the sixth of twelve two-ounce, high-relief silver coins featuring them. Issued on a one-per-annum basis, this has been a first-class series to date, showcasing the mints copious ability in this genre.
For task six, we head to a marsh in Arcadia, where the Stymphalian Birds, bronze-beaked, metal-feathered, man-eating birds, had taken up residence. Said to be either the pets of the goddess Artemis, or the god of war, Ares, they quickly took over the area, destroying crops and taking people. Eurystheus tasked Hercules with clearing them from Arcadia, but the marshy ground would not support his weight. The goddess Athena gave him a rattle (krotala), with she had asked Hephaestus to make. Hercules climbed to a high-point over the lake the birds lived around, and shook the rattle. The birds took to the air, and he shot many of them with arrows tipped with Medusa’s blood. The rest of the birds fled.
The coin sensibly keeps the same style as those that have gone before (see lower down), and while we only have an art render at present, it looks another fine design. These have always been packed to the rafters with dynamic elements, and the birds attacking from every angle is certainly that. Each of the antique-finished entrants in this series have a gilded highlight, and the scattered feathers on this one is a top-notch choice – far better than doing the bow, for example. The common obverse returns, with its neat circle of task motifs.
As before, the one that represents the coin subject, is highlighted with gilding, maintaining the clockwise route around the border. It’s great to see the obverse have as much attention paid to it, especially compared to those that just have the Queen’s mugshot on them. Boxed with a C.O.A., the coin has a mintage of 500 pieces, and marks the half-way stage of this 12-coin set. It’s great to see a series like this, with its consistently high quality design, and fine choice of subject. That it’s also a series with a pre-determined end and release frequency, is also a bonus. Available to order this week. Hopefully, we’ll get some images of the finished article soon.