Precise colour description results in a better classification and evaluation of wood products. Two systems of colour determination were applied and compared in 98 Amazonian wood species: the Munsell colour system, a visual determination comparing colour standards with samples, and the DIN colour chart using a reflectance reading colorimeter. The Munsell system is sufficient, when applied in simple descriptions of wood colour. To evaluate variations and changes in colour, however, the method of reading the colorimeter and converting to the DIN colour chart is recommended. This method allows the user to calculate precisely differences between colours.