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What Exactly is a Coat of Arms?

A coat of arms or armorial bearings is, in its originally European tradition, a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people) and used by him or her in a wide variety of ways. Unlike seals and emblems, coats of arms have a formal description, that is expessed as a blazon.

Coats of arms have their origins in the designs used by medieval knights to make their armour and shield stand out in battle or tournaments and enable quick recognition by allies or spectators. The designs were used to decorate clothing worn over the knight's armour, from which we derive the term coat of arms. In addition to being painted on the shield, elements of a knight's coat of arms were used to decorate the helmet crest, pavilion, and banners used by knights.

Today, the term "coat of arms" or "arms" is frequently applied in two different ways. In some uses, it may indicate a full achievement of arms or heraldic achievement, which includes a variety of elements — usually a crest sitting atop a helmet, itself sitting on a shield; other common elements include supporters holding up the shield and a motto beneath. Other times, "coat of arms" or "arms" is used to refer simply to the escutcheon (i.e. the shield itself), or to one of several designs that may be combined in one shield.

Display your Heritage

We have collected some of the best and most unique coat of arms products available. We have cataloged the top products from various coat of arms vendors.

We are sure that you will find something to fit your desire. In fact, you will likely find new ways of displaying your coat of arms that you may not have even thought of! If you have any ideas that you feel we might have missed, please contact us so that we can find vendors who provide that type of coat of arms product.


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This Week's Specials

Framed History and Coat of Arms Print - Brown
$69.95 $59.95

Coffee mugs (set of four)
$59.95 $44.95

Ball Cap
$24.95 $19.95

Armorial, Symbolism and Large Ceramic Tile
$29.95 $22.95

Coat of Arms Framed - Black
$39.95 $32.95

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The Family Crest Shop is an independant resource of family crest and coat of arms products. All links for purchasing products are links to external web sites.

Our goal is to provide a complete list of options available to you as your look for coat of arms products.


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