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Stater (Coin) Depicting a Sea Turtle

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.


510-485 BCE



About this artwork

Coins of Aegina depicted images of sea turtles on their coins when the island of Aegina was the supreme sea power among the Greek city-states. The sea turtle, seen here on the front (obverse) of this coin, represented its naval strength and resiliency. After its defeat by Athens in 458 BCE, Aegina ceased using the sea turtle and substituted the land tortoise to symbolize its lost sea power. On the back (reverse) of this coin is a geometric design comprised of a square with a windmill-like pattern.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Stater (Coin) Depicting a Sea Turtle


Aegina (Minted in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

510 BCE–485 BCE




Diam.: 2 cm (13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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