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Rust or Guinea Gold (bb)

This is a naturally occurring mutation, but is unfortunately now rather uncommon. In addition, the main top colour of the coat, ("Rich Orange Brown"), at first glance falls within the range of top colours given for the three types of Golden, ("Light Fawny Gold", through, "Bright Chestnut", to "Rich Dark Mahogany Red"). Although really good Golden hamsters of any colour are distinctive, Rust hamsters can very easily be mistaken for Normal or Light Goldens which are not up to show winning standard. If there is no record of a hamster's ancestry, one cannot rely on parentage to shed light on the true colour either. However, there are two features which can be used to differentiate Rust hamsters from Goldens without any fear of making a mistake.

Firstly, the cheek flashes in Rusts are dark brown, (described as "Deep Rust Brown" in the Standard). All Golden hamsters should have flashes which are either very dark grey, (Light Golden), or black, (Normal or Dark Goldens).

Secondly, the base colour in Rusts is brownish grey, nothing like the slate grey base colour in the Goldens. This colour can be seen next to the skin if the coat is blown on, to open it out.

Rusts, as previously stated, are rare. Should a Rust appear, and no Rust mate be available, mating to a really good Golden, with the best type and fur etc available, would be the safest way to propogate the colour. The young would all be Goldens, (carrying Rust), and mating a youngster back to the Rust parent would produce a litter of Goldens and Rusts in the ratio 1:1.

The Beige hamster, another rarity, is formed by combining Rust with Dark Grey, while the Copper hamster, (also rare), is produced by combining Rust with Cinnamon, Umbrous and Cream.

NHC Standard
TOP COAT Rich orange brown
BASE COLOUR Brownish grey
BELLY FUR Ivory, with pale grey under colour
TICKING Light and even ticking of brown
CHEST BAND Deep rust brown
CHEEK FLASHES Deep rust brown
EYE COLOUR Very dark brown, almost black
EAR COLOUR Dark grey with a hint of pink
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