Annulet (heraldry)

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Annulets as regular charges (not as a difference). Gules, three annulets in pile Argent

In heraldry, an annulet (i.e. "little ring") is a common charge. It may allude to the custom of prelates to receive their investiture per baculum et annulum ('by rod and ring'), and can also be described as a roundel that has been "voided" (i.e. with its centre cut out). In English and Canadian heraldry it is also used as the difference mark of a fifth son.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "Annulet". Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences 1 (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. p. 104.