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Institute of Heraldry

Institute of Heraldry.  Medals, decorations, badges, insignia, seals of the United States Government – the official symbolic items for award, wear or display – are the responsibility of The Institute of Heraldry. Under the administration of the Department of the Army, the Institute furnishes heraldic services to all Armed Forces, other U.S. government organizations, and limited services to the general public.

Creating heraldry symbols for military and government organizations for the most part, The Institute of Heraldry's service also include research, design, development, standardization, quality control and other heraldry functions. The Institute employees artists, sculptors, model makers and heraldry specialists, all civilians despite its connection with the U.S. Army. It maintains an archive of all items under its control and provides for the storage of original models, hubs, dies and tooling.

The Institute maintains a "bid list" of American manufacturers who actually produce the medals, badges, insignia, whatever is required. Each new item is put out for bid from drawings and specifications prescribed by The Institute. Those manufacturers who wish can bid on the production of these items; including the manufacture of the administration it assigns unique hallmarks to each manufacturer.

Established in 1960, The Institute of Heraldry also furnishes information to anyone on the authorization, use, history and traditions of official government and military symbolic items. The Institute maintains a large reference library and archives. It is located at Fort Belvoir, formerly at Cameron Station, both in Virginia and is under the management of a military director.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


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