Stains

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In heraldry a stain is one of a number of different colours not included as one of the seven normal solid-field tinctures. The three stains usually referred to in period heraldry are tenne, murrey and sanguine. In period writings, a stain is both decribed as a characteristic of a tincture (Berners) and as a term for tinctures disallowed in heraldry (Legh, Guillim). In later writings, use of a stain on the arms of nobility was thought to indicate a stain on the bearer's honour, and were therefore used for abatements. This probably arose from a confusion of the term "stain" as a characteristic of color in the late Middle Ages with its more common negative usage. It is doubful that stains were ever used as abatements.

In SCA heraldry stains are not used. Lighter or darker shades of colour are instead considered an artistic difference, and do not count as a point of difference.

The list of stains is: