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HomeNumismatic TermsAzure : A Heraldic Term Used on Coins

Azure : A Heraldic Term Used on Coins

Azure Shield as it appears on the Coat of Arms of the President of the United States and a Liberty Shield on the back of a Liberty Head half eagle gold coin. Image: CoinWeek.
Azure Shield as it appears on the Coat of Arms of the President of the United States and a Liberty Shield on the back of a Liberty Head half eagle gold coin. Image: CoinWeek.

(n.)

In heraldry, azure is the color blue. It is typically (but not always) a deeper shade of blue based on the precious stone lapis lazuli, the name from which the word “azure” is ultimately derived.

On coins, medals, and other numismatic items, azure is an element of iconography, represented by horizontal bar shading. It is not (typically) colored blue with paint or other pigmentation. An example of this use is the horizontal bar running across the top of the Union shield found on U.S. coins like the Type 1 American Silver Eagle or on the reverse of the Liberty Head half eagle in the image above. Another excellent example is on the two-cent piece.

See also LANǴUED, another heraldic term for a figure (usually an animal like an eagle or a lion) with its tongue visible.

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I have a few Lincoln pennies that have the L in liberty crowded into the rim of the coin and iberty only shows. Also have few with the D for Denver mint completely over stamped or filled in and looks like a blob. A penny with a double node inside the 0 where one cent is. Are these worth anything

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