The Selfs (aa)

Ideally, the self group will display and even color throughout the entire animal. Other alleles can affect the way this is expressed - most commonly with either the top coat extending well down the hair shaft, as in Steel, or the midband extending outward to the tips (as in non-extension). As a result of this, the longer hairs of the animal often end up appearing to be a different color from the shorter hairs.

Full Color Concentration (C-)

The Selfs (solid color) These “shades” exist in every color and pattern.
Color A B C D E En
Black aa B- C- D- E- enen
Chocolate aa bb C- D- E- enen
Blue aa B- C- dd E- enen
Lilac aa bb C- dd E- enen

Note the differences between these two littermates in the nestbox: one is blue and the other lilac. Both are dilute, but the lilac (left/middle) has brown instead of black. The other babies in this group are all blue & blue otter.

Black Chocolate
Blue Lilac

Chinchilla (Cchd- )

Self Chinchilla Phenotypically, these are almost indistinguishable from the full color selfs.
Color A B C D E En
Black Self Chinchilla aa B- cchd- D- E- enen Looks like a self black or seal.
Chocolate Self Chinchilla aa bb cchd- D- E- enen Looks like a self chocolate.
Blue Self Chinchilla aa B- cchd- dd E- enen Looks like a self blue.
Lilac Self Chinchilla aa bb cchd- dd E- enen Looks like a self lilac.

Sable or Shaded (cchl-)

Also called “Light Chinchilla”, or Sable.

This gene prevents ALL of the yellow pigment from forming along with some of the black. This means that there isn't even a 'pearl' color, and the black isn't fully black, but rather sepia (dark brown). The difference between sepia and chocolate is something like dark vs milk chocolate.

The shaded allele is not fully dominant over the next two (ch : himalayan, and c : red-eyed white), so the results may look different depending on the second allele. The difference can be quite subtle.

The “true” or genetic seal is a self that is homozygous for the shaded allele.

“True” Seal
Color A B C D E En
Black Seal aa B- cchlcchl D- E- enen Seal
Chocolate Seal aa bb cchlcchl D- E- enen Chocolate Smoke Pearl
Blue Seal aa B- cchlcchl dd E- enen Smoke Pearl
Lilac Seal aa bb cchlcchl dd E- enen Lilac Smoke Pearl
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Seal (self shaded) Smoke Pearl (self blue shaded)

Sable varieties require the second allele to be h (himalayan) or c (rew). All the sable points become lighter when the second shading gene is c instead of ch, but the difference can be subtle.

Sable
Color A B C D E En
Sable aa B- cchlch or cchlc D- E- enen Sable
Chocolate Sable aa bb cchlch or cchlc D- E- enen Chocolate Sable
Blue Sable aa B- cchlch or cchlc dd E- enen Blue Sable
Lilac Sable aa bb cchlch or cchlc dd E- enen Lilac Sable
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Sable

Californian or Himalayan (ch-)

The Himalayan gene restricts color to the extremities. Most standards that allow this color call for all 'useable' portions of the pelt to be white. This allele is affected by temperature - pigment forms only where the skin is exposed to coll temperatures. Skin that is kept warm will grow hair lacking pigment (i.e. white).

In Rex, only the black version is showable.

The second color allele can only be ch, or c. Points will have better color if it is homozygous for Himalayan (chch)

The self colored Himalayan is the only one recognized in most breeds.

Self Himalayan
Color A B C D E En
Black Himalayan aa B- ch- D- E- enen Only Himi Color (Called Californian) recognized in Rex.
Chocolate Himalayan aa bb ch- D- E- enen
Blue Himalayan aa B- ch- dd E- enen
Lilac Himalayan aa bb ch- dd E- enen
Black Californian Chocolate Californian Blue Californian

Further Resources

Wild River Rabbitry has a lovely illustrated Shaded Mini Rex Guide.

Judith Graf, Color Basics 1991 (self-published booklet)

Glenna M.Huffmon, The Basics of Color Genetics in Rabbits (I have the 1995 third edition)