This Apples of Hesperides 1 oz Copper Round is the 11th one ounce design in the exclusive 12 Labors of Hercules Series. Reliable and durable, like the Greek demi-god himself, this round makes for an excellent addition to your Copper Bullion collection. Each round was struck with .999 fine copper.
Due to Hercules receiving help on two previous labors – Hydra and Augean Stables – King Eurystheus discounted them, which meant Hercules had to complete two more tasks before being free from Eurystheus’ rule. The 11th overall labor required Hercules to travel to the garden of Hesperides and steal golden apples from the tree, an extremely difficult assignment.
First, Hercules didn’t know where the garden was located, so he traveled for years until he caught the sea-god known as Nereus, who eventually told Hercules of the gardens whereabouts after many failed escape attempts. The stories say Hercules then had to fight Busiris, Antaeus, and even Poseidon before he found his way to the garden’s gates.
Atlas, the titan of strength that held the earth and sky on his shoulders, had his daughters, the Hesperides, guarding the golden apples. The serpent-like creature known as Ladon also protected the apples.
Hercules and Atlas talked, and if Hercules would hold the celestial sphere on his shoulders, Atlas would retrieve the apples for Hercules. Hercules assumed the weight of the earth and sky, but when Atlas returned with the apples he would not reclaim his burden but decided to deliver the apples to Eurystheus himself. Hercules knew the King would not count this labor if Atlas delivered the apples, so Hercules tricked Atlas and stole the apples.
Eurystheus could not believe Hercules was able to complete the task, and was very angry upon his return.
The three Hesperides standing under a tree holding the golden apples are featured on the obverse of the Apples of Hesperides 1 oz Copper Round. The beautifully detailed design also shows Ladon slithering up to the branches. Inscriptions read “XI” and “APPLES OF HESPERIDES.”
The reverse, which is common throughout the series, displays a stoic Hercules with his head bowed. He wears the impenetrable skin of the Nemean Lion as armor, and holds his wooden club in his right hand. The weight and metal purity are inscribed.