Silver Marten breed is the result of naturally occurring "sports" in Standard Chinchilla litters. Early Standard
Chinchilla breeders introduced Black and Tan bloodlines into the breed
in hopes of improving the color and pattern which resulted in the tan
pattern genes being carried by these offspring. Some of these black and
silver colored "sports" were saved, and when crossed bred true
and the Silver Marten breed (named in 1924) was started.
1927, the first working standard was adopted for the black and chocolate
varieties and the first Silver Marten Club was chartered. In 1929 the
blues were accepted, and in 1933 the sable variety was approved. These
are the same 4 varieties still shown today.
Black Silver Martens are the most popular variety of the breed.
The black should be a jet black color, with the black carrying
as far down the hair shaft as possible, with sharply defined
contrasting silver markings. The undercolor should be a dark
slate blue. Eye color is a dark brown.
Blue Silver Martens are the second most popular variety in most
areas. The blue color should be an even dark blue overall. The
eyes are to be blue-gray. The sharp markings in the blue variety
are often slower to fully develop than in the blacks.
Chocolate Silver Martens should be a dark rich chocolate, like
semi-sweet rather than milk chocolate candy. The undercolor is a
lighter chocolate, but only at the very base of the hair shaft.
Eyes are brown. Chocolates have a tendency to fade badly,
especially if exposed to sunlight.
Sable Silver Martens are the variety least often seen at this
time. The sables should be a medium sepia brown on the saddle,
shading evenly down the sides to a lighter color. The ears,
face, tail and outside of the feet and lower legs should be a
very dark sepia brown, nearly black, providing a distinct
contrast to the body color. Sables tend to become blotchy in
color and also their body color usually continues to darken
throughout their lifetime with each successive molt, reducing the
contrast with the points. Correctly colored sables will be a
silvery color at birth.