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Carbon-composition and carbon film resistors are too small to have the resistance value printed on their housings. Therefore, bands of color are used to represent the resistance value.
Resistor
 
1: 2: 3: 4:
Value:

                 
 
The first and second band represent the numerical value of the resistor, and the color of the third band specify the power-of-ten multiplier. The color bands are always read from left to right starting with the side that has a band closer to the edge.
 
For carbon-composition and carbon film resistors, the common tolerances are 5%, 10%, and 20%, indicating that the actual value of the resistor can vary from the nominal value by ±5%, ±10% and ±20%. If the band is gold, it specifies a 5% tolerance; silver specifies a 10% tolerance; if no band is present, the tolerance is 20%.
 
Note that the color-code system for capacitors is very similar to that of resistors except there is a fifth band representing the temperature coefficient. This band is the first one closest to one end of the capacitor. The other four fall into the same order as mentioned for resistors. In this case, the second, third, and fourth bands are used to determine the capacitance. The fifth band represents the tolerance of the capacitor.
 
The table below shows the color code and their associated value:
 
Color
First-band
Digit
Second-band
Digit
Third-band
Multiplier
Fourth-band
Tolerance
Black
0
0
100 = 1
 
Brown
1
1
101 = 10
1%
Red
2
2
102 = 100
2%
Orange
3
3
103 = 1000
3%
Yellow
4
4
104 = 10000
4%
Green
5
5
105 = 100000
 
Blue
6
6
106 = 1000000
 
Violet
7
7
107 = 10000000
 
Gray
8
8
108 = 100000000
 
White
9
9
109 = 1000000000
 
Gold
 
 
 
5%
Silver
 
 
 
10%
None
 
 
 
20%