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I just received a Bricklink delivery with pearl gold pieces (see right-hand side in the image). This colour is less shiny and has less of the pearl effect that I used to expect so far (left-hand side, parts from an older set). Did I miss anything about a change in the colour? Or is this part of the (nowadays) normal colour variation? enter image description here

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  • Not voting it as a duplicate, but please see bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/12782/… Apr 20 '20 at 5:53
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    I saw that question, but I ruled out dark flat gold, because these are 4 different pieces that are definitely not available in this colour. The pieces are all new and they look exactly the same. Therefore I guess that this is our new pearl gold.
    – Aziraphale
    Apr 20 '20 at 8:51
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    Yes, I have seen LEGO sets that have both colors mixed together - looks bad.
    – Phil B.
    Apr 20 '20 at 11:13
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Metallic plastic is always tricky, especially when dealing with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS for short). The granules (small plastic pellets) for the metallics are really sensitive to light and time, and the process can alter over time.

The stronger colors (ie. the base chromatics) are easy to get right since the granules are all from the same source and designed for that specific color. Where some of the more "exotic" colors, a mix of granules are being used, and that can be tricky.

So the process that a batch of pieces from 2018 and the same pieces molded in say 2020 might have some coloration differences, and it is a heck of a job to keep track of.

Even without direct changes in the formula, a slight change over time can happen. If this makes the pieces unwanted for you, I would reckon you can argue with Bricklink for a refund, but I would not bet that they can do much for you.

A similar case of this can be seen below, both certified pearl gold bricks, molded two years apart: enter image description here

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    "The stronger colors (ie. the base chromatics) are easy to get right since the granules are all from the same source and designed for that specific color." - This sounds easy, but definitely not a trivial task. Even TLG struggle producing consistent color for basic colors. You can check this with almost any large set - different parts of the same color will have noticeable range in shades when assembled side by side.
    – Alex
    Sep 19 at 11:23
  • @Alex absolutely true, I didn't mean to undercut the work put into keeping consistent colors, was only trying to map out how the swirly-mixed ones can be harder than the solid colors ones. But point taken.
    – Nils Munch
    Sep 20 at 5:27

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