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In heraldry, the term colour refers to azure, sable, gules, vert and purpure. Or and argent are not considered colours, but metals. There are rules governing when colours can be used. A charge is not allowed to be one of the colours if the backgound is also a colour, so for instance an azure lion can not appear on a gules field. But the field can be split in two with both halves being a colour or a metal, or with one half in each, in which case a charge of either colour or metal can be placed, because otherwise you couldn't charge anything (see heralds -- poverty of)

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