Resembling the Shaded Silver in all respects apart from dark mask and dark legs, the Masked Silver is believed to be a "light" Black Smoke i.e. a Non-Agouti cat with the Inhibitor gene. On the body, the top-colour is reduced to no more than half the length of the hair producing the visual effect of a Shaded Silver. On the face and legs, however, the top-colour extends further along the hair shaft, indicating the cat's true type. It is more apparent in modern Shaded shorthairs although some very attracted Masked Silver Persians have been bred in the past.
Martine Sansoucy of Butterpaws LaPerms has seen a number of masked silvers and notes that they appear to be smokes rather than shaded silvers. Butterpaws BC The Crow, known as "Cairo" is a black smoke that meets the general description of a masked silver. As can be seen from the photo, the different textures of fur on the face and the body give the impression of a masked cat with the black colour being more intense on the straighter fur.
Some authors have written that the masked silver dates back to 1900, but were probably referring to the shaded silver, a variety not recognised in Britain at the time and considered to be a badly bred chinchilla. According to Milo Denlinger in 1947, "Masked silvers are a new variety and very few are bred." Denlinger went on to describe the variety: "The ideal masked silver is a very beautiful animal; in colouring or, I should say, marking, they should resemble the Siamese Cat; that is to say, they should have a black mask, or face, black feet, and legs. The body should be as pale a silver as posible." The eyes were to be deep golden or copper. Several authors have observed that the description of the masked silver resembles that of the Siamese. The Masked Silver was also described by Mery and others in the 1960s.
Before the Shaded and Smoke cats patterns were known to be genetically distinct, this was regarded as a sub-type of Shaded Silver and a number of attractive Masked Silver Persians were bred. Some were described as having darker bodies (mantles) than Shaded Silvers".