Teston: coin from Duchy of Lorraine (France)


Teston, 1582-1608: Duchy of Lorraine (France)

Teston, 1582-1608: Duchy of Lorraine (France)

Ruler: Charles III — Duke of Lorraine (1545-1608). He became a duke at the age of two.

MONETA NOVA NANCEII CVSA: a new coin struck at Nancy (the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine).

Crowned heraldic shield with symbols of Lorraine and other dominions (exclusively formally, Charles III was also considered the ruler of the following territories: Hungary, Naples, Jerusalem, Sicily...).

CAROL. D. G. CAL. LOTH. BAR. GEL. DVX: Charles, by the grace of God, Duke of Calabria, Lorraine, Bar and Guelders.

Portrait of Charles III.

Nancy Mint.

Interesting: the Italian artist Luigi Mussini depicted Charles III in the painting "Leonardo da Cutro and Ruy Lopez play chess at the Spanish Court" as an interested spectator at the first ever international chess tournament in Madrid (1575).

  • Silver: 28 mm - 6.8 g
  • Reference price: 11$

COIN TESTON — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. KINGDOM OF FRANCE (16th century): teston = 1/2 livre
  2. FRENCH REGIONAL ISSUES (16th-18th centuries) — Lordship of Béarn, Principality of Dombes, Duchy of Lorraine, Principality of Orange..: teston = 1/2 livre

TESTON as coin name.
Teston — rather large, more than 9 grams, silver coin of historical state entities on the territory of modern France. It was minted mostly during the 16th century. The main feature of the coin: a portrait of the current ruler (at the time of the appearance of the first coins of this type — a rather atypical plot).
The French teston began to be minted as an imitation of the Italian testone and became the first coin in the history of France, which was decorated with a real portrait of the reigning king.
The decision to start minting testons was made by King Louis XII in the first quarter of the 16th century. Despite the high quality of the coin, its production was stopped relatively quickly — already in 1577. Although some numismatic catalogs also contain information about testons of the 17th and 18th centuries... Be that as it may, the main emission fell on the 16th century.
In addition to the general French ones, it is also known about the existence of silver French testons of regional issues: the Principality of Dombes, the Duchy of Lorraine, the Kingdom of Navarre, the Principality of Orange, etc.
The name of the teston coin is directly related to the dominant plot: in translation from Italian "testa" means "head" (portrait of the ruler; "testone" — big head). The French, apparently, simply borrowed the term ("teston").
Similar coins from other countries are known: testone (Italy), tostão (Portugal), testoon (England, Scotland).