|I have had many questions about silvering and the black gene. I've decided to put together this page to share some of my experiences with silvering and the blacks (or combined colors including black). Silvering occurs with all dwarves who have two black genes. This includes: black, blue, dove, chocolate, RE Lilac, Lilac, Dark Beige, and Champagne.
I really like the silvering with the black and blue colors so I have kept quite a few silvered hamsters. Many breeders do not like the silvering and do not keep them. I have also never mixed the platinum gene in with my blacks. I have even tested my more silvered blacks and blues to confirm that they are not platinum. When mating them to agoutis, I have never had a platinum baby. This shows that I do not have the existing dominant platinum gene mixed in with my blacks.
The question comes up whether you can have a black dwarf without silvering. You can have a youth without silvering. It appears that all will eventually silver if they live a normal lifespan, though. Some will silver more than others, but all will silver to some extent. People ask at what age theirs will start silvering. All are different. Some show the early signs of silvering as soon as their color shows (this white usually shows up on the shoulders first). Others take months to show silvering. And in colors like the Lilacs, it is very difficult to see the silvering at all if they silver evenly. They just get progressively lighter.
Is silvering a separate gene? We really don't know. It may be a separate gene or it may be part of the black gene. Tests are currently underway (here at my house as well as with other breeders) to try to determine this. So far I do not know of any conclusive evidence either way (see my other page for current research on this project)..
One of the interesting things about the silvering in the blacks (which also occurs with the platinums) is that the belly retains its color and does not silver. Also, the eyes, ears, and muzzle are the last parts to silver. People have commented that they look like raccoons with these markings. They are quite interesting and distinctive.