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Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 17 miles (27 km) from Athens. According to tradition, the island is named for Aegina, the mother of Aeacus, who was born on and ruled the island. During ancient times Aegina was a rival to Athens, the great sea power of the era. Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage, because of that the turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors.