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,[1] which can be described as a roundel that has been "voided" (i.e. with its centre cut out).[2]

In the 19th century, it was theorised by Webster's Dictionary to be related to the custom of prelates to receive their investiture per baculum et annulum ('by rod and ring').[3] In English and Canadian heraldry it is also used as the difference mark of a fifth son.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "Annulet". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. Vol. 1 (1st ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. p. 104.
  2. ^ Gough, Henry; Parker, James (1894). A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry (New ed.). Oxford and London: J. Parker and Co. p. 112.
  3. ^ Webster, Noah; Howe, Hezekiah (1828). "Annulet". An American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse. p. 10.
  4. ^ "RHSC Heraldry Examination". Retrieved 31 December 2023.