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Last Updated September 12, 2001
Find out what the symbols or "charges" on coats of arms really mean.
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I found the above information here.
The metals, colours, and furs used in heraldry are known as tinctures.
Or (gold, often depicted as yellow) drawn as black dots
Argent (silver, usually depicted as white) drawn as white
Many of The Colours
Sable Gules Azure Vert Purpure
Murrey Sanguine Tenne Orange
Many of The Furs
Ermine Ermines Erminois Pean Vair Countervair Vair en point Vair in pale
Vairy Countervairy Vairy en point Vairy in pale Potent Counterpotent Potent en point Papellone Plumete
Fess Bars Barrulet Pale Pallets Tierce Pile Pile Inverted Bend Benlets Riband Bend Sinister Bendlet Sinister Chevron Chevonels Chevron Inverted Chevronel Inverted Cross Fillet Cross Saltire Fillet Saltire Pall Fillet Pall Pall Inverted
Chief Base Canton Canton
Bordure Gyron Orle Double
Quater Inescutcheon Label Flanches
Annulet Billet Cartouche Delf Fret Fusil Lozenge Mascle Roustre Roundel Goute Saltorel
Angled Arched Double Arched Bevilled Bretessed Counterembattled Clover Leaf Crested Dentilly Dancetty Dovetailed Ecartelle Embattled Grady Another Embattled Grady Embattled Engrailed Fir Tree Fir Twig Indented Inveced Nebuly Another Nebuly Nowy Potenty Raguly Rayonne Undy Urdy Wavy Spades
Marks of Cadence
Differences, or Marks of Cadency, are the distinctions used to indicate the various branches or Cadets of one family. The eldest son during the lifetime of his father bears a Label; the second son a Crescent, the third, a Mullet, the fourth, a Martlet, the fifth, an Annulet; the sixth, a Fleur-de-Lis; the seventh, a Rose; the eighth, a Cross moline; the ninth, a Double quatrefoil.
This is just a sample from Tempus Peregrinator's Little Heraldy Book.
Just because you have a surname that also appears to have a registered coat of arms, does not give you the right to that armorial bearing unless it is registered as yours specifically or you can claim it as Arms of Paternal or Hereditary. If you can prove your descent from the original bearer then you might be able to claim it as YOUR family coat of arms. Although there are no laws in the U.S. that prohibit one from using a family coat of arms that coincidently has the same surname as yours, in other parts of the world it is a crime to do so unless you can prove it belongs to your family by right of descent. I should point out though, you can create your OWN coat of arms. You can even have it registered!
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