Sisyphus, forever doomed to push a boulder up a hill, is the star of the second coin in Mint of Gdańsk’s mythology series

By most accounts, Sisyphus was a bit of an arrogant, cocky individual. The founder and king of what became Corinth, in Greece, he seems to have made it his business to annoy and antagonise everyone around him, from mortals to gods. Unfortunately, like all egotistical people who aren’t as smart as they think they are, he overreached, and on betraying one of Zeus’s secrets, the god ordered Hades (or Thanatos, depending on the version) to chain up Sisyphus in Tartarus.

He tricked his captor, restraining Hades using the chains meant for him, resulting in nobody on Earth dying. Furious, the gods punished him, and Sisyphus ended up in the underworld. Hades made Sisyphus push a boulder up a steep hill in Tartarus, but, still angry from the betrayal, Zeus enchanted the boulder to roll away down to the bottom of the hill when it got close to the top. Sisyphus was then cursed to continually push this boulder up the hill for eternity.

The second coin in this series, it follows the one featuring the story of Daedalus and Icarus that debuted last October. It was a very attractive coin, and set out a design ethos for the series moving forward, consisting of a high-relief depiction of the subject, antique-finished, and surrounded by a gilded border. The border is broken in one area by the central artwork, not only crossing that boundary, but also extending past the rim of the coin. This time, it’s the boulder fulfilling that task.

Like the first issue, the obverse is custom to the individual coin, and isn’t common to the series. It shows us Tartarus, and a boulder sitting at the base of the slope, along with some Greek items, predominantly a column in the mixed Ionic/Corinthian style. The high-relief continues on this face, and it all looks pretty impressive overall. A distinctive design, it continues the high standard set by the debut coin. Available to order now, it comes boxed with a COA, and is shipping from next April.

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