The Application

Before applying to us for a letter patent it is advisable to take note of the seven pillars of designing and bearing of non-noble family coats of arms, as they are formulated by the Dutch Heraldry Society.

When applying for a letter patent the digital application form (Request for Letter Patent) should be used. The application for a letter patent should be addressed to the College of Heralds (herauten@genootschap-heraldiek.nl) and is only dealt with when complete. After out confirmation of receipt of you application the total amount due is to be transferred to the treasurer of the NGH, bank account number (IBAN):

NL52 INGB 0006 7414 57, in the name of “Nederlands Genootschap voor Heraldiek”. (The international Bank Identifier Code, BIC, is “INGBNL2A”)

The College of Heralds judges your application and may discuss this with you. The ultimate judgement of the college concerning the application and registration is binding.

Additional documentation

  • In case you wish to register and certify a new coat of arms, and you have already some ideas about the final design,  we would also like to receive a hand drawn or computer made (.jpg or .png) draft. Please include the colours or  colour indications and accompany this by a motivation for the design of the coat of arms.
  • In alle cases (historic or a new coat of arms) a line of ancestry should be attached which gives evidence who is the applicant’s first known male line forefather of  the intended carrier. A line of ancestry should always be supplied with source references. For the details of the criteria a line of ancestry should comply with, we refer to our guide the proof of ancestry at the DHS and an example of a lineage. If you are not in a position to do genealogical research yourself the College of Heralds can do it for you.
  • You are also requested to send a good colour photo/scan .pfd, .jpg or .png file) of your passport or ID card. Obviously, we handle all your data carefully. As we a are not allowed to  process some information, like Dutch personal numbers, please make a safe copy and cross out any sensitive data.

The design of a new coat of arms
If you wish to design or have designed a new family coat of arms it is advisable to contact the College of Heralds (herauten@genootschap-heraldiek.nl). The college can advise you on the design criteria and lead you to professional heraldic designers and drawers of coats of arms.

Please take into account that it is forbidden to carry the arms of a family belonging to the Dutch nobility or a public corporate body. Neither does the NGH confer letters patent for new arms that too much resemble existing coat of arms and arms in which coronets of rank, banners and supporters are applied. Coronets of rank and banners are only allowed to be carried by noble families, whereas the application of supporters in the coats of arms of normal citizens is controversial.

Moreover the NGH believes that new arms designs should rather owe their beauty and power to simplicity instead of excess. The excess use of charges and/or lines of divisions is, whenever possible, to be avoided.

If a new coat of arms is also intended for others within your family it is advisable to consult them on this matter.


Execution and cost

The coat of arms pictured in your letter patent is made by computer or by hand. As far as the text on your letter patent is concerned you have the option for a printed or a calligraphic version.

The letter patent has the dimension of a reduced A3 size.

Note: The mentioned prices include 1 hour of research time to check your line of ancestry. We charge € 40,- per hour for any extra time required, this is additional to the chosen version op the letter patent.

The Letter Patent is available in various options

  • Regular                       € 305,-
    This includes:

    • consultation,
    • manufacture computer drawing by a heraldic specialist,
    • letter patent with printed text and the computer drawing,
    • inclusion in the register of arms of the NGH,
    • publication of the coat of arms in the magazine Blazoen.

If you supply us with a digital drawing, fitting within to the requirements of the NGH and which we are allowed to use on the letter patent, the cost of drawing a new image is deducted and the price is € 235,-.

  • Luxury                        € 680,-
    Same as ‘Regular’, but with a hand painted coat of arms of app 16 cm high inclusive of material by one of our connected professional heraldic artists:  Cor Böhms, Guus van Breugel, Piet Bultsma, William Coolen  en Q.C.M. Walschots. Based on their work and experience you may express preference for one of them. If you do not make a choice, the NGH decides which artist will create your coat of arms.
  • Superior                      € 950,-
    Same as ‘Luxury’, but with a calligraphic text by Trudie Demoed. She hand-wrote the Act of Abdication of Queen Beatrix.

Possibility of having you arms painted in various sizes, price on inquiry.
When you have applied for a registration at the NGH you can have a 2nd version of your coat of arms painted at reduced costs by our heraldic painters William Coolen of Cor Böhms. This  can be done on paper or on wooden panels and in different sizes. For more details and options we advise you to contact the artists yourself. You can see some of their works on our page with examples of Letters Patent.

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