The dolphin was considered in medieval times the fastest and noblest of the fish. The unmodified term refers to the heraldic form of the dolphin, which is the default: a fierce fish with a spiny dorsal fin, and sometimes tusks. It’s found in the canting arms of the Dauphin of France as early as c.1370 [Gelre 46]. The dolphin’s default posture is naiant; when blazoned “proper”, it is vert detailed gules.
The cetacean dolphin, as found in nature, must be specified as such in blazon, usually as a “natural” or “bottlenosed dolphin”. When blazoned “proper”, it is colored in grey tones, and is considered equivalent to argent. For related charges, see whale.
The Order of the Dolphin of Caid bears: Azure, a dolphin embowed uriant to sinister argent.
Beatrice Delfini bears: Per chevron argent ermined gules, and azure, a dolphin haurient embowed Or.
Diantha Sylvana Galatea Athalie de Castalia bears: Per pale argent and azure, two dolphins uriant respectant counterchanged.
Angelina Nicollette de Beaumont bears: Gules, a bottlenosed dolphin embowed and in chief a sprig of three orange blossoms slipped and leaved fesswise proper.