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Medieval France Henry II 1/2 and 1 Teston  1547 to 1561
Medieval France Henry II 1/2 and 1 Teston 1547 to 1561

Henry II was King of France from 1547 to 1559, but these coins were also struck during the reign of his successor and son Francis II, as well as during the reign of his successor, Charles IX. These coins were still using the bust and titles of Henry II, in order to fulfill an immediate need for circulating coinage.

There are two different denominations, the larger coin being a teston, and the smaller coin being a half- or demi-teston:

TESTON: 28 to 31 mm diameter, about 9 grams or a bit more
DEMI-TESTON: 23 to 27 mm diameter, about 4.5 g or a bit less

Since a large demi-teston can be almost the same size as a small teston, you might run into borderline specimens around 27-28 mm. The easiest way to tell the denomination of such coins is then by weight. Both the half- and whole teston are valuable in any case:

DEMI-TESTON:
worn: $150 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $400
well preserved: $800

TESTON:
worn: $120
average circulated: $350
well preserved: $1000

The capital letter under the crowned shield on the reverse is a mint mark. A denotes Paris; M is for Toulose, D means Lyon, L is Bayonne, G is Poitiers, P means Dijon and Z is for Grenoble.

The A, M, D and L coins are seen most often, while the Z coins are a little uncommon, and the P or G coins are the least common.

The teston in our picture comes from Ira and Larry Goldberg in Beverly Hills, USA. It sold for $260 US dollars in a 2012 auction. CoinQuest thanks the Goldbergs for use of their coin photo.

Please read our Important Terminology page found at the top left in order to properly interpret these catalog values.

Coin: 17975 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Sharron Mahony, Thu, 02-Oct-2014 15:05:40 GMT
Answered by: Chris, Thu, 02-Oct-2014 16:32:55 GMT
Requester description: The coin is not perfectly round, it looks like it has been cut by hand, and the edges are thinner than the middle.

FRONT: SIDE FACIAL PROFILE FACING RIGHT OF MAN WITH POINTY BEARD, HAIR LOOKS LIKE A LAUREL PATTERN, BUT IS NOT A LAUREL. THE FIGURE IS NOT WEARING A CROWN, BUT DOES LOOK LIKE HIS SHOULDERS ARE WEARING ARMOUR.

BACK: THE CENTRE OF THE COIN HAS AN UPSIDE DOWN BELL SHAPE WITH 3 X FLEUR DE LYS SIT WITHIN IT, TWO AT THE TOP AND ONE UNDERNEATH THE TWO. THERE IS A STUD PATTERN ABOVE THE FLEUR DE LYS, MAKING THE TOP END OF THE 'UPSIDE DOWN BELL' LOOK LIKE A CROWN. WITHIN THAT CROWN, THERE ARE WHAT LOOK LIKE 3 MORE FLEUR DE LYS, A LARGE ONE IN THE MIDDLE AND ONE SMALLER EITHER SIDE OF IT. ON THE OUTER EDGE OF THE UPSIDE BELL, TO THE LEFT AND RIGHT OF IT, IS THE LETTER H. ABOVE EACH LETTER H THERE IS A CROWN. THE BOTTOM OF THE UPSIDE DOWN BELL IS SLIGHTLY POINTED, AND SITTING BELOW THE POINT IS THE LETTER D. NONE FRONT: HENRICVSII D GFRANC REXM

BACK: VINCIEXPSREGNATXPSIMPE
Tags: medieval france henry ii 1 2 teston midieval mediaeval gaul francaises francais french rf francaise francie franciaise franciase fance francai fran fracaise henri henrig henrik henricvs henr heinricvs henricvsii front rexm rex rexind rexx rexetind round cut hand thinner thin man beard hair laurel crown shoulders shoulder armour armor an upside down bell shape 3 x fleur flower de lys sit two one stud end large letter sitting point dot thinnish boy male mann boys mans hairdo hairline crowned tiara crwon crpwn crowns tiarra crowning tiera bells florets blossom fler fleurs lises leis lisse flur folwers stems trefoils floral lily orchid posy bouquet flowers fllower flour bud lilly bloomed trefoil floret floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals sits ones larger largish leters letters lettering lettered beaded period beading beads pionts periods dots points bead leaves leaf coat arms shield leafs leave leaved leafed leafy leavs coats crests insignia crested crest creast sheild shiled shied chevrons shileld shild escucheon shelid chevron ashield shields

  

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Sun, 11-Dec-2016 11:47:26 GMT, unknown: 11272540