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Heraldic Tinctures

The surface of the shield (normally called the field) may have a single background tincture. There are two contrasting groups of tinctures - called colours and metals. Objects are then placed on top of the field (or each other) always using a contrasting tincture.

Five "COLOURS" are in general use:


RED ("gules")

BLUE ("azure")

BLACK ("sable")

GREEN ("vert")

PURPLE ("purpure")

and two "METALS":


GOLD / YELLOW ("or")

SILVER / WHITE ("argent")

The names for the colours given in brackets are Norman English.

RULE: a COLOUR is placed on top of a METAL, or a METAL on top of a COLOUR. This makes the design more distinct at a distance, or in fading light when colours begin to turn to shades of grey.


RED CROSS ON GREEN
WRONG

RED CROSS ON PURPLE
WRONG

RED CROSS ON YELLOW
CORRECT

WHITE CROSS ON RED
CORRECT

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