A lot of people get confused on the difference between a Coat of Arms and a Family Crest.  They really are the same thing.  However, if you want to get technical, COAT OF ARMS is the more correct term.  A CREST is actually a “PORTION” of the Coat of Arms.  It is the part of the coat of arms that usually shows up above the helmet.  However, when people talk about a FAMILY CREST, they are usually reffering to the whole COAT OF ARMS.

 So, a CREST is just a portion of the arms, but a FAMILY CREST or a COAT OF ARMS are usually used to describe the same thing.

 I get asked a lot about this, so I hope this helps a little.