Pod brightness is an important characteristic that influences consumers to purchase in-shell peanuts. A method is needed to quantitate pod brightness. Studies were conducted to determine whether pod color measurements were related to visual aesthetics rated by a panel representing seven virginia peanut shelling companies and to determine the effect of the optical aperture of the colorimeter on the measurements obtained. Forty-eight virginia-type pod lots were separated into fancy and jumbo fractions using a standard Federal-State Inspection Service grading peanut sizer. Pod color was measured for three subsamples of each fraction using a Hunterlab D25-PC2 colorimeter equipped with the D25-2RAL Reduced Area Viewing for L optical sensor (51-mm diameter sample area). The 96 samples also were rated by 11 Virginia-Carolina area shellers for pod color and size. Sheller ratings for the two traits were highly correlated (r > 0.6, P ≤ 0.01). Hunter L and b scores were strongly correlated with sheller color ratings. The colorimeter is a useful tool for measuring pod brightness as an adjunct to breeding for improved pod brightness. Use of a 95 mm aperture resulted in greater average Hunter L, a, and b scores and significantly reduced the variance among subsamples. The larger aperture should be used when the quantity of pods available for measurement permits.