Josh B. writes: I just inherited a coin from my grandmother, and I’m trying to find out exactly what it is. It is a French coin, dated 1587. Heads is an image of Henry III, with the words HENRICVS III D G FRANCOR ET POL REX 1578 around the rim, and three crowns, and two plant stalks on tails with the inscription MANET VLTIMA COELO around the rim. The coin is in very good condition and looks to be struck better than other similar coins of the time that I have seen, although the pattern is similar. My grandmother found this coin in the mud on a riverbank in northern Maine in 1932. I’m not looking to sell the coin, just to find out a little bit about it’s history. Thanks.
There are several coins of Henry III of France (1574-89)in both silver and bronze. Based on your description you may have a bronze denier tournois (2 lis on the reverse).
The legends HENRICVS III D G FRANCOR ET POL REX 1578 translate as “Henry III By the Grace of G-d King of the French and Poles 1578” The legend MANET VLTIMA COELO roughly translates as “made to the highest standards” and is similar to the English legend that says that the design is a” ornament and a safeguard” (against counterfeiting).