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Coats of Arms - Tintures and Furs
know your heraldic colors.

There are four classifications of color in Heraldry, and can be described as follows, color, metal, fur and proper.

COLOR, METAL
OR FUR

 

HATCHING


Or (Gold)

Equated with the sun and the precious stone topaz, and Sunday. It is also said that its properties are those of the age of adolescence and faith, and that it corresponds to the virtues of richness and noblesse.


Or (Gold)


Argent (Silver)

Said that it corresponds to the virtues of purity and justice, to the age of childhood and hope. It is appropriate for those of phlegmatic temperament, and should be equated with the pearl and the moon, and with Monday.


Argent (Silver)


Gules (Red)

Equated with the stone ruby, fire, the planet Mars, and with Wednesday and summer, and considered symbolic of a sanguine temperament, nobleness, boldness, and the age of virility.


Gules (Red)


Azure (Blue)

Said to be of correspondence with the planet Jupiter, with the quality of justice and purity, and with Tuesday and the autumn season.


Azure (Blue)


Vert (Green)

Considered to be symbolic of jolliness and youth, but also of beauty and shame (a rather cynical combination), and equates it with Thursday and spring.


Vert (Green)


Sable (Black)

Symbolic of sadness and descepitude and a melancholic temperament, and corresponds with Friday and the season of winter


Sable (Black)


Purpure
Purpure is a royal colour, and is found in the arms of those who have some connection with royalty

Purpure

Ermine
The principle fur of heraldry. It consisted originally of the white winter coats of stoats, with the black tails of the tails sewn on. As stoats in Western Europe do not normally turn white in winter, these skins had to be imported in the Middle Ages from as far away as Muscovy, at great expense, and consequently were only within reach of the purses of the great. Ermine was, therefore, highly regarded. The heralds of the 15th and 16th centuries invented several variations of ermine by reversing or changing the colors (see below).

 


Vair
This fur is of some antiquity in heraldry, being originally composed of the skins of a kind of squirrel, bluish-gray on the back and white underneath, sewn together and producing an alternate blue and white appearance. Sudak, on the southern shores of Crimean, was the main emporium where Russian vair was traded to Venetian merchants, Marco Polo's father among them, and thence found its way to the west.

 


Erminois
Gold with black spots.  

Ermines
Black with white spots.  

Pean
Black with gold spots

 

 

 

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