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HomeNumismatic TermsChief : A Heraldic Term Used on Coins and Medals

Chief : A Heraldic Term Used on Coins and Medals

The Chief is the upper part of the shield on this Liberty Seated Dollar. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
The Chief is the upper part of the shield on this Liberty Seated Dollar. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

(n.)

In heraldry, a chief is the upper part of a shield, typically one third of the shield’s total size, that contrasts with the remainder of the design. It is depicted as a horizontal bar or stripe that lays atop the paleways, or vertical stripes. Usually thicker than the vertical stripes, a chief can be seen on numerous federal shields found on the reverses of U.S. coins.

See also AZURE, another heraldic motif that can be found on the coinage of the United States.

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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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