The neural crest is a transient, multipotent embryonic cell population in vertebrates giving rise to diverse cell types in adults via intermediate progenitors. The in vivo cell-fate potential and lineage segregation of these postembryonic progenitors is poorly understood, and it is unknown if and when the progenitors become fate restricted. We investigate the fate restriction in the neural crest-derived stem cells and intermediate progenitors in zebrafish, which give rise to three distinct adult pigment cell types: melanophores, iridophores, and xanthophores. By inducing clones in sox10-expressing cells, we trace and quantitatively compare the pigment cell progenitors at four stages, from embryogenesis to metamorphosis. At all stages, a large fraction of the progenitors are multipotent. These multipotent progenitors have a high proliferation ability, which diminishes with fate restriction. We suggest that multipotency of the nerve-associated progenitors lasting into metamorphosis may have facilitated the evolution of adult-specific traits in vertebrates.