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Colt grips were made from planks so since two grip halves almost always came from two different planks you might see at least a slight difference in color and quality of grain.
This difference was evened out by using a reddish-brown stain-finish to finish the grips.

What this can do is well illustrated by the grips pictured by Doc540.
In that case the mis-match is really bad because one grip is American Black Walnut, the other is some sort of hardwood, possibly Beech or Birch, and probably that grip half was not even a genuine Colt grip.
Using a stain Swamprat was able to get a close match on color, but you can't do a lot about lack of grain.

Colt always did a good job on getting grip COLOR to match up, but it was common to see one half with more or less grain figure then the other. You'd expect this since they didn't come from the same plank.
Since obvious color differences was very noticeable and objectionable to the customer, Colt's seldom had a major mis-match on color.
Minor variations yes, but I don't think I ever saw any Colt with a major color mismatch that had verified factory original grips.

From what I saw, most of the bad mismatches were grips that were not shipped by Colt as a set but were "put together" grips to correct one side being damaged.
A common mismatch is the right side grip half is the one replaced, because that's the grip that gets battered or damaged when carried in a holster.

So, from what I saw over the years, Colt did a good job of getting grips to match in color, and major mismatches were almost certainly not original sets.
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