Or (heraldry)

Or (heraldry)
Or tincture

In heraldry, Or (from the French word for gold) is the tincture of gold and, together with argent (silver), belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots.[1] It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms.

The word gold is occasionally used in place of Or in blazon, sometimes to prevent repetition of the word Or in a blazon, or because this substitution was in fashion when the blazon was first written down, or when it is preferred by the officer of arms.

Or is frequently spelt with a capital letter (e.g. Gules, a fess Or) so as not to confuse it with the conjunction or.

Or is said to represent the following:

  • Of jewels, the topaz
  • Of heavenly bodies, the Sun
  • Of metals, gold
  • Of virtues, Faith[2] or obedience and gentility[3]

See also


  1. ^ This form of hatching is part of a scheme of indicating heraldic tinctures developed by Silvester Petra Sancta in his Terrerae Gentilitia (1638), according to Woodcock & Robinson (1988), p. 53.
  2. ^ See the table in Woodcock & Robinson (1988), p. 54, compiled from G. Leigh's Accedence of Armory (1562) and Sir John Ferne's The Glory of Generositie (1586).
  3. ^ Woodcock & Robinson (1988), p. 54, attributed to Johannes de Bado Aureo.
  • Woodcock, Thomas and John Martin Robinson (1988). The Oxford Guide to Heraldry. Oxford: University Press. ISBN 0192116584

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heraldry, Ecclesiastical — • Information on heraldry as it is used in and by the Catholic Church Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Heraldry — Her ald*ry, n. 1. The art or office of a herald; the art, practice, or science of recording genealogies, and blazoning arms or ensigns armorial; also, of marshaling cavalcades, processions, and public ceremonies. [1913 Webster] 2. A coat of arms… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • heraldry — art of arms and armorial bearings, late 14c., heraldy, from O.Fr. hiraudie heralds collectively, from hiraut (see HERALD (Cf. herald) (n.)). The spelling with r is attested from 1570s (Cf. poetry, pedantry) …   Etymology dictionary

  • heraldry — ► NOUN 1) the system by which coats of arms and other armorial bearings are devised, described, and regulated. 2) armorial bearings or other heraldic symbols. DERIVATIVES heraldist noun …   English terms dictionary

  • heraldry — [her′əl drē] n. pl. heraldries [< HERALD] 1. the art or science having to do with coats of arms, genealogies, etc. 2. the function of a HERALD (sense 2) 3. a) a coat of arms or heraldic device …   English World dictionary

  • Heraldry — The German Hyghalmen Roll was made in the late fifteenth century and illustrates the German practice of repeating themes from the arms in the crest. (See Roll of arms) Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning …   Wikipedia

  • heraldry — heraldist, n. /her euhl dree/, n., pl. heraldries. 1. the science of armorial bearings. 2. the art of blazoning armorial bearings, of settling the rights of persons to bear arms or to use certain bearings, of tracing and recording genealogies, of …   Universalium

  • Heraldry Society of Scotland — The Heraldry Society of Scotland was founded in 1977 with the objective of promoting the study of heraldry and encouraging its correct use in Scotland and overseas. The Society encourages people to join whether they have their own Arms, intend to …   Wikipedia

  • Heraldry Council (South Africa) — The Heraldry Council is part of the South African heraldic authority. It was established in Pretoria in June 1963, in terms of the Heraldry Act. It is the governing and policy making body for the Bureau of Heraldry and consists of the State… …   Wikipedia

  • Heraldry Society — There are several heraldry societies around the world. Some of the more notable ones include:*The Heraldry Society *The Heraldry Society of Scotland *The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada *The American Heraldry Society *The American College of… …   Wikipedia

  • Heraldry of Aberdeen — The Heraldry of Aberdeen, Scotland is important as it represents the long history of the city and its people. The image of three castles is often present, particularly in the flag and coat of arms of the city. The symbol has been around since the …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”