These siblings are thought to be the first “black and white” twins born in the UK – despite coming from the same egg.
Libby Appleby, 37, was told her unborn babies would look so similar that they would need to be “marked with ink” to tell them apart.
But she was surprised when Amelia was born with dark skin, black hair and brown eyes – while her sister Jasmine has fair skin, blue eyes and mousey curls.
Despite their contrasting skin tones, the siblings are genetically identical and are thought to be the first of their kind in the country.
Ms Appleby said: “When they were born, we were flabbergasted, even the doctors couldn’t believe it.
“They look like they’re different races. Amelia is the spitting image of her dad, while Jasmine is a mini version of me.”
The 37-year-old, of West Rainton, County Durham, said strangers assume the twins – who have just celebrated their first birthday – are step-sisters.
Ms Appleby and her partner of three years, 40-year-old electrical engineer Tafadzwa Madzimbamuto, found out she was pregnant.
Three months later, they were told it was twins and medics at University Durham Hospital warned they would be so identical they would be difficult to tell apart.
Ms Appleby said medics “gasped” when they delivered the twins – who are monozygotic – meaning they were formed in the same embryo but developed in separate sacs.
She added: “We put them next to each other in a cot and couldn’t believe how different they were. Amelia was so much darker than Jasmine, they barely even looked related.
“Doctors told us the chances of conceiving mixed race twins are one in a million. We were thrilled they were so unique.”
A sample of Libby’s placenta confirmed the twins are 100 per cent genetically identical, despite them looking nothing alike.
“The girls are just noticing the difference in their skin colour now, but they’re so wonderful and unique. Looking back, it’s funny that we were worried we’d never tell them apart.” She said.