Costa Rica National Shield
The Honorable President Jose Maria Castro Madriz decreed the creation of the National Shield on September 29, 1848. The National Shield has been redesigned twice. In 1906 all the war elements (cannons, rifles, etc.) were taken off, and in 1964 two stars were added since Costa Rica gained two more provinces (Limon & Puntarenas). Those changes underlined the peaceful and civil nature of the Costa Rican people.
"America Central" (Central America) is imprinted in silver letters on the blue ribbon at the top of the coat of arms. The two branches of myrtle closing the coat of arms represent the peace of Costa Rica. On the white ribbon that joins the branches, the title "Republica de Costa Rica" (Republic of Costa Rica) is imprinted in golden letters. The seven stars above the volcanoes represent the seven provinces of Costa Rica: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose.
The volcanoes represent the three Costa Rica's mountain range systems. They form a valley and divide the country in two parts. The two oceans represent the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The merchant ships sailing on each ocean represent the cultural and commercial exchange between Costa Rica and the rest of the world. The rising sun represents the prosperity of Costa Rica.
The small circles on both sides of the coat represent the coffee beans, "Golden Beans".