Main Pages

Front Page
Seal FAQs

Design Process
 1st Committee
 2nd Committee
 3rd Committee
 Final Design

Latin Mottoes
 E Pluribus Unum
 Annuit Coeptis
 Novus Ordo Seclorum

Symbols (front)
 Bald Eagle
 Olive Branch
 Rays of Light

Symbols (back)

Great Seals
 Official Dies
  Pendant Seals
 First Engravings
 First Painting
 1792 Medal
 Indian Medals
 1882 Medal
 One-Dollar Bill
 United Seal
 Eagle Rising

 Eagle Side
 Pyramid Side


 Wild Turkey
 President's Seal

Pendant Seals

Pendant Seal Hanging Seal

When Congress adopted the Great Seal in 1782, "pendant" (also called "hanging") seals were in use. A wax disk was attached to the document by ribbons or cords. The disk had two sides, thus the need for a reverse side of a seal.

Because no die for the reverse was ever cut, only the obverse side was used on the few occasions when pendant seals were employed before being discontinued in 1871.

Today only the obverse side (which is also the U.S. coat of arms) is impressed onto a paper wafer that is glued to the document.