"The first ancient coin - Aegina's Sea Turtle"
Denomination: Silver Stater (21 mm, 9.24 gm)
Mint: Aegina (Islands of Attica)
Date: Circa 525-480 BCE
Mount: Sterling Silver
Description: Obverse: Sea tortoise seen from above, head in profile. Reverse: Square incuse with small skew pattern.
One stamped stater can be seen in the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris. It is an electrum Stater of a turtle, an animal sacred to Aphrodite, struck at Aegina that dates from 700 BC. Therefore, it is thought that the Aeginetes, within 30 or 40 years of the invention of coinage in Asia Minor by the Ionian Greeks or the Lydians (c. 630 BC), might have been the ones to introduce coinage to the Western world.