|by Linda Price|
The Platinum Campbells mutation was found in the UK in 1991 in a commercial hamstery. The Dilute Platinums also became available at about the same time. There are reports of the mutation being available in the US as early as 1995 with both Platinums and Dilute Platinums available in that time frame.
The Platinum mutation is a pattern gene that was given the symbol "Si.". A Campbells that has the Platinum gene has white hairs ticked throughout the colored hairs on the hamster’s back, and the color is often diluted. The number of white hairs varies greatly from a mostly white hamster with a few colored hairs to a mostly colored hamster with very few visible white hairs. The dorsal stripe often remains visible even when there are not a lot of colored hairs on the back. Many Platinums also have “collars” – a band of all white hairs around the neck. The belly fur on agouti colors is lightened to almost white while the belly fur on self hamsters is mostly unaffected. Most platinums lighten with age. In the black-based Platinums, you often get extreme lightening due to the combined affect of the Platinum gene and the silvering in the black-based colors.
|Normal and Black Platinums|
|The Platinum gene can be combined with any color gene(s) to produce a Platinum of that color. For example, there are Opal Platinums, Black Platinums, Blue Platinums, and Platinums of all colors available in the Campbells dwarf hamster species. Platinum can also be combined with other pattern genes or coat type mutations. For example, the Platinum gene can easily be combined with Satin to produce a Platinum Satin of any color as shown in the pictures below. Platinums can also be combined with Mottleds or with silvering in the black based colors. Unevenness of color in the Platinum pattern, though, should not be mistaken for a Platinum Mottled, and care must be taken not to mistake silvering for the Platinum pattern.|
|Opal Platinum Satin and Opal Satin|
|Older Beige Satin Platinum|
|The youngster in the lower left is a silvering Blue Moscow that does not have the Platinum gene. The hamster in the upper right is a Platinum.||These two hamsters are both Platinums, but neither has the Mottled gene. Their color is just uneven.|
|Which of these hamsters is a Platinum? The reality is that only the top hamster is a Platinum. The lower left hamster is silvering while the lower right hamster has some white hairs around the neck due to the Mottled gene. It is not always easy to differentiate a Platinum from the other pattern genes. Care needs to be taken especially if the Mottled gene might be present because of the risk of eyeless white pups if two ruby-eyed Mottleds are mated together.|
The Platinum gene is dominant. Thus, if one parent is Platinum while the other parent is unpatterned, approximately half of the litter will be Platinum. The colors will be determined by the color of the parents and any genes that they carry.
The Platinum gene is homozygous lethal just like the Dominant Spot and Light Gray Syrian genes. Thus, Platinums are Sisi. If two Platinum hamsters of any color are bred together, approximately one-quarter of the litter will die in the uterus and not be born. For those that want to avoid this scenario, it’s best to always breed a Platinum to an unpatterned hamster.
Dilute Platinum is the name given to an all white hamster. A Dilute Platinum is created by combining the Platinum gene with another gene given the name “dilute” and represented with the genetic symbol “di.” Not a lot is known about the dilute gene. It is believed to be recessive and only seems to show in the coat color when found in combination with the Platinum gene.
Dilute Platinums can be black-eyed or red-eyed depending on the underlying color genetics of the parents. When the eyes are red (in colors such as Argente and Dove Dilute Platinums), the Dilute Platinum will have pale pink ears and have the appearance of an Albino. When the eyes are black (in colors such as Opal or Black Dilute Platinums), the Dilute Platinum may have dark spots on the pale ears but will have a white coat..
|Dilute Blue Fawn Platinum With Pups||Dilute Platinum Littermates With Differing Ear Color|
|As stated above, the Platinum gene is a homozygous lethal gene. There have been reputable reports, though, of Dilute Platinums that are homozygous Platinums. It appears the only state in which they can be homozygous is in conjunction with dilute. Thus, Dilute Platinums can be either didiSiSi or didiSisi.
There are two standards that can cover Platinums. Both only cover Dilute Platinums. Non Dilute Platinums would be shown in the Unstandardized classes. The first is the Albino standard which both the BHA and NHC have. This standard would be used for Red-eyed White Dilute Platinums because they are indistinguishable from Albinos. The BHA standard is included here.
Top Coat: Pure white
Undercolour: Pure white
Dorsal Stripe: None
Belly Fur: Pure white
Feet: Pure white
Eye Colour: Bright, clear dark pink
Ear Colour: Flesh
Notes: Dirty or stained fur to be penalised heavily
The second is a BHA Standard for the Black-eyed White Campbells (not available in the NHC). This standard would apply for any Black-eyed Dilute Platinums.
Black-eyed White Dilute Platinum Campbells
Top Coat: Pure white to the roots
Dorsal Stripe: Absent
Belly Fur: White
Eye Colour: Black
Ear Colour: Pale Pink
Notes: Given Full Standard status Feb 2004
Dilute Platinums (red-eyed and black-eyed) are easy for beginning show breeders to score well with. The most common fault for the red-eyed Dilute Platinum is the presence of some color at the dorsal stripe, on the head, or randomly on the body. Some black-eyed Dilute Platinums share the same fault of colored hairs on the body. Additionally, ear color needs to be watched on black-eyed Dilute Platinums. Dark spots on the ears are common, so pups without color on their ears should be selected for showing.
|Opal Platinum with faint dorsal stripe and faint color on the side arches||Opal Platinum with more noticeable dorsal stripe and color on the side arches|