We’re pretty sure than when Hercules was given his next task, he didn’t think it would involve moving mountains of cow crap. Such is the life of the demi-god, we guess. A stable filled with 3,000 immortal cattle that hadn’t been cleaned out in 30 years sounds a recipe for an unpleasant experience, on a par with cleaning the toilets after the Glastonbury Festival…
Hercules pulled it off, of course, using that time old method of diverting the course of two rivers so they flowed through the stables. Augeus had given Hercules a day to perform the task and promised him 10% of the herd as payment. He welched on paying like any wannabee evil ruler would do, so Hercules offed him. Most Greek legends end with someone pushing up daisies, so no surprise there.
This had to be a difficult thing to depict on a coin, but respect to the artist for pulling it off. The rushing water is well done, as are the animals (the bull to the left of Hercules in particular, is outstanding). There’s plenty of stone column parts in the flood, leading me to think this was more of a cow spa than a stables and that these animals weren’t going to end up in a Big Mac. Every release in this series has a gilded highlight, and this time its a big old piece of marble column that Hercules carries overhead.
The common obverse depicting the twelve labours is also back, this labour picked out with gilding – a nice touch. Indeed, this whole series has been a joy to follow. It has a superb pre-defined theme, consistently high-quality design, an affordable spec (2oz 0.999 silver, rimless, high-relief, antiqued), and a sensible release schedule. It’s boxed with a COA and has a 500 mintage. Hopefully, we’ll see a collectors box to hold all 12 in the next couple of years, something neat and custom. Available to pre-order shortly, it’s distributed by Canadian dealer Coin Shoppe, and European dealer Magikos Coins. Excellent issue. Slaying the Stymphalian Birds is next on the agenda.