The color mink in the fashion world is a cross between a brown and taupe color, but the animal after which the color is named comes in a variety of colors. In the wild, minks have shiny, soft fur in various shades of brown. Genetic changes appearing in captivity were selected by mink farmers to create over 15 gradations of color. The basic color groups of mink pelts are white, gray and brown.
Albino minks are the basis for the white shades of mink colors. The variation in white color ranges from the stark white of the albino mink to beige. White is bright without any markings or color in the undercoat. Pearl is an almost completely white pelt but with pastel golden glow, and also comes in the variation of Pearl Cross, which is the same color but includes a line of darker beige fur down the length of the pelt. Pearl beige is the darkest in the white shades and is a golden beige color.
The natural occurring brown spectrum of colors is the most prolific and popular of the mink colors. Shades range from light brown to a dark brown that appears almost black. The lightest of the brown pelt, Palomino, is light beige color with a slightly darker line down the back of the pelt. Dawn, Pastel and Topal are varying gradations of light brown and include the cross version with a darker line down the back of the pelt. Scanglow and Scanbrown are the colors that most frequently occur in nature and are a rich and uniform brown color without markings. The darkest of the brown pelts is Mahogany, which has lighter markings on the sides and a thick, almost black line down the back. Scanblack, which has no color gradations, is so dark that it appears to be black.
Gray mink shades have various hues depending on the undercoat of the pelt. The variations created by the undercoat range from light silver to deep blue gray. Sapphire and Sapphire Cross are characterized by a silver color with a blue hue and a blue-gray line down the back of the pelt. Silver Blue and Silver Blue Cross, despite the name, are a silver color with brown overtones and the cross variation has a dark grayish brown line down the back of the pelt. Blue Iris is the darkest shade of gray with a dark gray line down the back of the pelt and a lighter undercoat that give it a blue hue.
The Jaguar color was first documented in the 1960s by Finnish mink farmers and is sometimes referred to as Finn Jaguar due to its origins. The color is a bright white with clearly defined black spots. Despite the name given to the color variation, the pelt is more reminiscent of a Dalmatian than a Jaguar. When dyed, the black spots remain, making colorful versions of the spotted pelt.