A roundel is an ancient heraldic charge, consisting of a simple circular shape. Its use dates from the earliest heraldic records: bezants are found in the canting arms of Biset, c.1244 [Asp2 222].
Roundels of different tinctures have special names in blazon: A roundel Or may be termed a “bezant”; a roundel argent, a “plate”; gules, a “torteau”; vert, a “pomme”; sable, a “gunstone”, “pellet”, or “ogress”; azure, a “hurt”; purpure, a “golpe”. The use of these special names is discretionary. Note that only “bezant”, “plate”, “torteau” and “pellet” were used in period blazons.
Also included in the roundel family is the “fountain“, a roundel barry wavy azure and argent. A Society-specific variant is the “t’ai-ch’i”, a roundel per fess embowed-counterembowed argent and sable, charged with two counterchanged roundels. As a non-European motif, the t’ai-ch’i is deemed a step from period practice.
Roundels with complex edges (e.g., the “roundel echancré”, with three semi-circular notches; the “roundel embattled”; &c) have been registered in the past; but their use has been disallowed, pending evidence of period use.
The roundel is considered a shape upon which arms may be borne; thus, like the lozenge and escutcheon, when used as a fieldless badge it must not itself be charged. See also astrolabe, bowl (dish), egg, moon, shield, sphere, yarn.
The Exchequer bears: Azure, a pale checky gules and argent between six bezants in pale three and three.
Alewijn van Zeebrouck bears: Sable, three roundels argent.
Nigel the Byzantine bears: Purpure bezanty and a bordure Or.
Duncan of Blackrock bears: Per fess and per bend sinister argent and vert, two pellets in bend.
Marius del Raut bears: Per chevron ermine and sable, three roundels counterchanged.
Ynir Cadwallen bears: Azure, a roundel echancré and in base a bar Or.
Morgan ap Llewellan Peregrine bears: Sable, a t’ai-ch’i, the line of division forming a hawk’s head erect, voided, orbed argent.