|Aegina is a rocky island in the Saronic Gulf located about 25 miles southeast of Athens. It was settled around 900 BCE and was named after the daughter of the Greek river god Asopos. The inhabitants became expert merchants and tradesmen, dominating the shipping industry early in the sixth century BCE. Their success brought the island great wealth and power. |
The first coins were thought to be made by the king of Argos, Pheidon. Coins with 'turtle' design are considered an important early trading currency.
|Aegina became the first of the Greek city-states to issue coined money, starting in the mid-sixth century BCE. Their common didrachm “stater” coinage weighed about 12.6 grams.|
Their status as the first international trade currency was aided by consistency of their designs, and their coins spread far throughout the known world.