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. 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 or obedience and gentility
Rule of tincture - Tricking system - Hatching system MetalsArgent · Or Colours Furs Stains Others
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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).
- ^ 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
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