Obverse legend : HENRICVS. II. DEI. G. FRANCOR. REX.
Obverse description : Buste lauré et cuirassé d’Henri II à droite.
Obverse translation : (Henri II, par la grâce de Dieu, roi des Francs).
Reverse legend : OPTIMO PRINCIPI (MM).
Reverse description : La Gaule drapée, assise sur un bouclier, tournée à gauche, portant un casque fleurdelisé, tenant de sa main gauche une victoire ailée lui tendant une couronne de laurier ; sous un trait d’exergue GALLIA.
Reverse translation : (Au meilleur des princes).
Born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1519, Henry II was the second son of Francois I and Claude de France. Dolphin death of his elder François (1536), he ascended the throne in 1547. Continuing the policy of his father, the new king soon came into conflict with the Emperor in the East and Italy. Victorious in 1552 (expedition against Metz), beaten in Saint-Quentin (1557), again victorious at Calais and Gravelines (1558), Henry II succeeds better than his father. An era ends with the signing of the Treaty of Le Cateau (2 and 3 April 1559): France kept the Calais and without even explicitly mentioned, kept the Three Bishoprics (Metz, Toul and Verdun), but finally gave up Italian dream. Elizabeth married Philip II of France, daughter of Henry II, and Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy Margaret, daughter of Francis I.. His side, Charles had to abandon the universal monarchy and share his vast empire in Spanish monarchy and Germanic monarchy, which keep the imperial title. He abdicated in 1556. The same continuity emerges in domestic politics. The first absolutism says, persecution against Protestants takes its rise: a fiery House established the Parlement of Paris to fight against heretics. The Business Council or Council definitively narrow separation of the Grand Council and the Privy Council. The institution of bailiwicks présidiaux in 1552, meant to accelerate the course of justice, served mainly to get money in the royal coffers. The court of France was dominated by Diane de Poitiers, mistress of the king, by the Constable de Montmorency, always a favorite, and the three brothers Coligny: Odet, Bishop-Count of Beauvais, Gaspard, Admiral in 1551, François Dandelot , Colonel General of the Infantry. Coligny stood face to the party of Guise, cadet of the house of Lorraine Claude, duke and peer, Cardinal Jean de Lorraine, his brother both died in 1550, and François de Guise, son of Claude and his brother Cardinal Charles de Lorraine. The king's authority prevented these rivalries degenerate. The reign of Henry II saw especially the development of Protestantism in France, in the form that was given to him by Calvin, who fled to Geneva, was master of the city from 1541 to 1564. Married to Catherine de 'Medici in 1533, Henry II had thirteen children, five son. Three of them succeeded him: Francis II (1559-1560), Charles IX (1560-1574), Henry III (1574-1589).