By: Babelcolor Company  09-12-2011

Finding an equivalent or a cross-reference to a given color can be a daunting task. To facilitate this task we offer to find / calculate / derive / deduce such colors for you. The available conversions are shown in the following table:


TO (destination)

BS 5252
(BS 4800, etc.)
(note 1)
(note 2)
(note 3)
(note 4)
(note 5)
(note 6)
XYZ / L*a*b*/ etc.
(note 7)
Your requirements
(note 8)


BS 5252
(BS 4800, etc.)
  a a a a a a a
FED-STD-595B a   a a a a a a
Munsell a a   a a a a a
Pantone a a a   a a a a
RAL CLASSIC a a a a   a a a
XYZ / L*a*b*/ etc. a a a a a a   a
Other (note 8) a a a a a a a a


  1. BS 5252 comprises the colors referred to by BS 4800, BS 4900, BS 4901, BS 4902, BS 4903, BS 4904, and BS 6770. Due to the very limited number of colors in this British Standard, it is unlikely that a perfect match will occur. The nearest chip(s) will be given with a color difference value.
  2. FED-STD-595B comprises 611 color chips. Because of this limited number of colors, it is unlikely that a perfect match will occur. The nearest chip(s) will be given with a color difference value.
  3. Munsell Hue Value/Chroma values with a one decimal place precision will be given (ex.: 4.5RP 5.7/11.4).
  4. Conversions to Pantone Coated, Uncoated and Matte are offered. If unspecified, a Pantone Coated match will be given.
  5. RAL CLASSIC comprises 210 color chips. Because of this very limited number of colors, it is unlikely that a perfect match will occur. The nearest chip(s) will be given with a color difference value. Semi-gloss chips are assumed.
  6. The nearest RAL DESIGN chip(s) as well as the exact value in RAL DESIGN notation will be given.
  7. A chip color can be given using any standard CIE notation, for any standard Illuminant and for the 2 or 10 degree Observers (CIE1931 or CIE 1964).


F1  First conversion FROM a color system 30.00 US$
F2  Second, and other, conversion(s) FROM a color system 25.00 US$
T2  Obtaining conversion data TO a second, or more, destination color system(s) 20.00 US$ / each
  • Example 1: One color conversion, from FED-STD-595B to RAL DESIGN. The cost of this conversion, item "F1", would be 30$.
  • Example 2a: Two color conversions, both FROM RAL CLASSIC to Munsell. The first conversion would be 30$ ("F1") and the second 25$ ("F2"), for a total of 55$.
  • Example 2b: Two color conversions, the first from Pantone to Munsell, and the second from RAL CLASSIC to Munsell. The first conversion would be 30$ ("F1"); the second, from a different color system, would also be 30$ ("F1"), for a total of 60$.
  • Example 3: Two sets of color conversions, both from Pantone, to Munsell and to RAL DESIGN (i.e. four conversions). The first conversion set would be 30$ + 20$ ("F1" + "T2"), and the second set would be 25$ + 20$ ("F2" + "T2"), for a total of 95$.

Note: When advantageous for the Customer, requests for multiple translations may be quoted on an hourly rate basis.

Terms and conditions

  1. In the "Money request/Invoice" e-mail, click on the "Pay Now" button or on the payment link. This will bring you to a secure PayPal payment page where the following credit cards are accepted:
    PayPal can also be used, of course.
    Please consult the site for the complete list of payment methods.
  2. Translation data is provided "as is". It is the Customer's responsibility to assure that the data meets his/her requirements.

Important information

  1. We will not provide translation services for metallic, pearlescent, or fluorescent colors, or any color which has a hue which varies with angle or temperature.
  2. Although we can provide equivalents to basically any color which can be measured in reflectance, you should be aware that many factors affect color perception, among them:
    metamerism: a colored sample can be perceived of being of different colors when viewed under various lighting conditions. The effect varies according to the pigments or dyes used for coloring, and with the spectrum of the illumination. For instance, paint and ink samples of the same color under a halogen lamp may look different under sunlight. A color match which takes into account this effect requires samples colored or dyed with the same processes and materials as the ones used (or planned to be used) in the finished products. For example, you cannot predict the metamerism of a wall paint using a Pantone color chip made from ink. Such a study is not included in the translation services quoted above but can be quoted separately.
    gloss: Many applications require specific gloss properties. This property is often described in three "generic" levels such as: matte, semi-gloss, and gloss finish. More precise gloss requirements can be defined and measured with gloss-meters, which are specifically designed for this task.
  3. As a result of manufacturing tolerances, color patches of the same color are not absolutely identical. Even when manufacturers offer colorimetric reference numbers, these values will not exactly match the sold samples. In addition, color chips are often offered in various qualities, sometimes up to three levels, with a correspondingly higher cost for the best ones. Some suppliers give tolerances for these quality levels, and others don't. On top of that, most colors samples will fade with time, and with exposure to light and air contaminants. For our translation services, we use either reference data from manufacturers, or high quality samples measured with calibrated equipment. Please include in your requirements any specific goal for maximum acceptable color difference.
  4. Because of the perception effects described in point 2 and the tolerances of physical samples mentioned in point 3, we strongly suggest to our customers to buy samples of the identified cross-references for final assessment and quality control. We can provide suppliers names on demand. You can also send us a sample of the end product to be compared against your requirements; a quote based on an hourly rate would likely be sent for such an analysis.
  5. We will not supply cross-references for complete or substantial parts of color systems.
The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

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