Hercules and Nemean Lion, Twelve Labours of Hercules series, Niue 2018, 5 Dollars, 2 oz, 45 mm, antique finish ultra high relief coin, gold plated, client: Magikos-Coins, producer: Mint of Poland.
edit: 6 of 12 coins in this series: here.
I love drawing man anatomy. That is why this project was so exceptional for me. Hercules (in Ancient Rome) or Heracles (in Ancient Greece) was a muscled guy, who has 12 works to accomplish. These tasks was commissioned by Eurystheus, king of Mycenaean fortress Tiryns. The first job of Hercules was to slay the vicious lion of Nemea. That lion had skin that no blade could pierce. How Hercules killed the beast? European art depicts Hercules strangling or ripping the jaw of the lion with his bare hands. I chose option N° 2 — I found the scene more dramatic.
Originally, the design of the reverse was supposed not to have any decoration. The composition was drawn kipping in mind that there will be no gilding. I was disappointed that the client finally decided to gild the entire lion’s head (instead of something smaller). Gilding made the relief too flat and, I think, it changed the readability of the crutial part of the scene. Now the lion has an artifficial looking head. What a pity!
They said about this coin:
“(…) this is an early look, but we’re reassured by the mints track record of issuing sketches and renders at this stage, which then go on to be realised as quite superb physical coins.” AgAuNews
“Since then, we’ve recieved the CGI renders that the Mint of Poland puts out for its premium issues and we can see the potential of this one much more clearly now.” AgAuNews