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:
worn: $150 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $400
well preserved: $800
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.
, Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Sharron Mahony, Thu, 02-Oct-2014 15:05:40 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Thu, 02-Oct-2014 16:32:55 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Tue, 13-Jun-2017 02:28:41 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.
Tags: france henry ii 1 2 teston gaul francaises francais french rf francaise francie franciaise franciase francai fran fracaise henri henrig henrik hendrik heinrich henricvs henr heinricvs round cut hand thinner thin man beard hair laurel crown shoulders shoulder armour armor centre offcenter upside bell 3 x fleur flower lys sit seat two one stud end letter monogram sitting point dot thinnish male mens mans tee goty goatee gotee whiskers beared bearded whisker beareded wiskers hairdo hairline crowned tiara crowns tiarra crowning tiera armored off offset certer center centers centered bells florets blossom fler fleurs lises petals leis lisse flowerettes flur stems trefoils floral lily petels orchid lis posy bouquet flowers flour orcid bud lilly lei petal bloomed trefoil floret floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals stool sitted sits seated ones ending ends script inscription monograms initial scripts initals calligraphy caligraphy letters inscriptions lettering scrip lettered initials beaded period dotted beading beads periods dots points bead leaves leaf coat shield arms greenery leafs boughs liafy bush leave leaved bough leafe leafed leafy leavs foliage sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon