ANIMAL ART OF THE DAY for World Turtle Day #1: a sea turtle and a land tortoise on a pair of ancient Aeginan coins

Greek turtle coins
1. silver stater (coin) depicting a sea turtle
510-485 BCE
Ancient Greek, minted in Aegina
2. silver stater (coin) depicting a land tortoise
404-350 BCE
Ancient Greek, minted in Aegina
Art Institute Chicago

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. 

[Art Institute Chicago]
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