Koi fish are a popular choice among fish owners. They are quite hardy, and some of them can be extremely valuable, depending on various factors.
Read on to learn more about the most expensive types of Koi fish.
While I will try to give you the cost of these Koi fish, the price of a Koi fish depends on the specific koi fish (and factors such as its health, gender, size, and age).
Most Expensive Types of Koi Fish
Let’s have a look at some of the most expensive Koi fish you can find. Wherever possible, I have also added the image of the Koi fish.
Ginrin Koi are considered one of the most expensive types of koi fish, often selling for thousands of dollars.
These Koi are prized for their beautiful shimmering scales, which can come in a variety of colors, including white, gold, silver, and red.
This koi is born completely black, but over time the white and red markings display themselves. It is enormously popular in Japan, but not as popular in other countries.
Gin Rin Koi are also known for being very hardy fish, making them a popular choice for koi keepers.
Sanke koi are another type of Koi that commands high prices, often selling for hundreds and thousands of dollars.
These Koi are characterized by their three-colored patterning, which is typically black, white, and red.
Taisho Sanke koi have red markings on a white background with splashes of an almost lacquer-like black.
The positioning of the black enhances the overall beauty of the pattern. The edges of the red markings should be crisp and clear against their white background. This crisp edge is known as a “kiwa.”
Sanke koi are also known for being very beautiful fish, and many people love to own them.
Matsuba koi are yet another type of Koi that can be quite expensive, with some fish selling for upwards of $10,000.
These Koi are distinguished by their unique leaf-shaped patterns, which can come in various colors.
Matsubsa koi have gray or metallic scales with a net pattern on top. Ki Matsuba koi have yellow bodies with black, reticulated net markings.
There is also a Gin Matsuba koi that has a white body with black net markings, and an Aka Matsuba that has a red body with black net markings.
Matsuba koi are considered to be one of the rarest and most beautiful koi varieties, making them highly sought after by collectors.
Platinum Ogon Koi
Platinum Ogon koi are among the most expensive koi fish, with some fish selling for over $20,000.
These Koi are characterized by their solid platinum-colored scales and are considered to be very rare and beautiful fish.
Kohaku koi are also quite expensive. These Koi are prized for their white and red coloration, which is said to resemble the Japanese flag.
Kohaku koi are also known for being very beautiful fish, with many enthusiasts finding them to be among the most attractive koi varieties.
Doitsu koi are another type of Koi that can be quite expensive, often selling for thousands of dollars.
These Koi are characterized by their lack of scales, which gives them a smooth, leathery appearance.
Like Ginrin Koi fish, Doitsu koi are also known for being very hardy fish. Fish owners like to keep them as pets because of their resilient nature.
In Japanese, “go” is five. “Goshiki” is five colors.
Goshiki koi have scales of five colors, black, white, red, light blue, and dark blue. A “kuro” goshiki koi fish has a dark blue background that looks almost purple with red and white tones in patches over it.
The black and blue tones of Goshiki koi can form a reticulation, a net-like pattern.
On most Goshiki varieties of koi, this pattern only appears over white scales. In Kuro Goshiki, this pattern can appear on red scales as well as on white scales.
When you are choosing your Kuro Goshiki, make sure you find a fish with red scales that you like.
The net-like reticulation pattern may not appear until your fish is several years old, so you will have to trust the dealer to know your fish’s bloodlines and when to expect its colors to mature.
Ki Utsuri Koi
Ki Utsuri koi are yet another type of Koi that can be quite expensive, often selling for several thousand dollars.
Ki Utsuri are beautiful black and yellow koi fish that are perfect for any koi pond. They are easy to care for and can grow to be quite large, making them a great addition to any koi collection.
The Japanese word “ki” is roughly equivalent to the Chinese word “chi. It refers to an ethereal kind of energy.
The Japanese word “utsuri” refers to reflections. A Kit Utsuri is a mirror of the energy of the soul.
Ki Utsuiri is among the rarest and most expensive of all varieties of koi. They have a black background over their bodies, with yellow splotches,
Ki Utsuri gets their distinctive coloring from a recessive gene. This means that mating two Ki Utsuri will not necessarily produce offspring with the same distinctive color pattern. This pattern cannot be bred into the fish.
One breeder of Ki Utsuri koi reports that he starts with three million hatchlings every year. At the end of the year, he selects just 15,000 koi that appear to have the best prospects for developing both the distinctive black and yellow pattern and large size with a graceful swimming style.
The next year, he chooses just 1,000 of the second batch to raise to maturity.
This kind of intensive selection is the reason that Ki Utsuri ranks among the most expensive hobby fish in the world.
Shusui koi are also quite expensive. It is a beautiful and popular variety of koi fish that is prized for its stunning blue and white coloration.
Many enthusiasts find them to be among the most attractive koi varieties.
The Shusui koi are said to resemble the flowing waters of a river or stream, and it is this resemblance that has made them so popular among koi enthusiasts.
While they are not the easiest Koi to care for, their beauty makes them well worth the effort.
The Asagi Koi fish is a beautiful blue color with white scales. It is a popular koi fish among enthusiasts and is known for its serene and calm demeanor.
The Asagi koi is also known to be one of the oldest koi varieties, with records dating back to the 18th century.
These fish are hardy and can live in a wide range of water conditions, making them a good choice for both beginners and experienced koi keepers alike.
Kumonryu Koi is a very popular type of koi fish, and they are often kept in ponds and aquascapes. They are extremely resilient to environmental changes and can withstand cold water temperatures.
Kumonryu means “nine-headed dragon.”
In Japanese mythology, dragons could change into clouds and race through the sky. This koi fish can change its color in response to changes in the conditions of the water where it is kept.
In an outdoor pond, your kumonryu koi in summer may look nothing like your kumonryu in winter.
Kumonryu koi don’t have scales (or if they do, they have just a few scales). They have a black base and white patterns all over their body.
While the black base is waiting to emerge, it may give the white patches above it a blue tint.
The skin tones of the Kumonryu are constantly changing in response to temperature, pH, sexual maturity, and stress, making them fascinating pets.
Kumonryu Koi are also known to be very friendly, and they will often come to the surface to be fed by their owner.
These Koi are distinguished by their black and white coloration, which is said to resemble a dragon.
The Showa koi fish is a popular type of koi fish that originates from Japan. Showa koi are known for their large size and vibrant colors.
They are a popular choice for koi enthusiasts and make a beautiful addition to any pond or aquarium.
Showa koi are available in a wide range of colors, including black, white, red, yellow, and blue. They can also be found in variegated patterns.
The most common pattern is the Showa Sanshoku, which is a black and white coloration with red accents.
The Tancho Koi fish is a beautiful and popular variety of koi fish that is easily recognizable by its distinctive red and white coloration.
Tancho koi are relatively small compared to other koi varieties, typically reaching a length of only about two feet. Despite their small size, these fish are very hardy and can live for many years with proper care.
Tancho koi are also known for their friendly, docile nature, making them a popular choice for beginner koi keepers.
Beni Kikokuryu Koi
The Beni Kikokuryu is a beautiful type of koi fish that originates from Japan. It is distinguished by its unique pattern, which consists of red, white, and black markings.
Beni Kikokuryu Koi fish can be valued at several thousand dollars depending on its appearance and breed. Moreover, its appearance makes it an extremely valuable addition for a Koi fish enthusiast.
The Beni Kikokuryu is a popular choice for many koi enthusiasts due to its stunning appearance. This koi variety is also known to be quite tough, making it a great choice for beginners.
Koromo koi fish are a type of ornamental carp that is popular in Japan. They are often kept in outdoor ponds and used for decoration in gardens.
The name “koromo” means “small scale” in Japanese, referring to the small size of these fish. Koromo koi are usually white with red spots, but they can also be found in other color combinations.
These fish are not known to grow very large, typically reaching a length of only about 10 inches.
Gin Rin Butterfly Koi
Gin Rin butterfly koi are prized for their beautiful shimmering scales, which can come in a variety of colors, including white, gold, silver, and red.
Gin Rin butterfly koi are also known for being extremely resilient fish as they can withstand even the toughest of situations.
Factors That Affect Koi Fish Value
There are a few factors that can affect the value of koi fish.
Color and Pattern
Koi fish are known to have beautiful colors and patterns, which is why they are so popular. These characteristics are the results of centuries of Koi fish breeding.
Many Koi fish have amazing color combinations. One of the most popular preferences is the neon red-orange and black with a shimmery white base.
Naturally, the Kohaku Koi fish has a particularly strong affinity with Japanese culture as its colors are those in the Japanese flag.
Some Koi fish breeders are careful in selecting their Koi fish in order to produce the next breed with their desired colors. This artificial breeding is also one of the reasons why Koi fish are so expensive.
Size and Age
The size and the age of the Koi fish also affect the value. Many Koi fish are raised for 2-4 years or till they are 15 inches (38 cm) long or more.
This assures the customers that the Koi fish breed comes from a species with a natural tendency to grow large and hence, are rarer and more valuable.
Some of the most valued Koi fish breeds can even for a long time, even for 50 years, if taken care of properly.
Gender of the Koi
Female Koi fish breeds that have attained sexual maturity are more valued than males. Females not only grow more in size but also have rounded fins.
Furthermore, female Koi fish are able to produce thousands of eggs which naturally give them more market value.
Body Shape and Fin Type
There is a difference of opinion in the Koi fish pricing when it comes to their body shapes. Some people, especially in Japan, prefer regular-sized fins as they believe longer fins are mutations.
In the US, however, many people prefer Koi fish with longer fins. These Koi fish are also called Butterfly Koi due to the resemblance of their fins with butterfly wings.
Butterfly Koi fish appear similar in shape to a dragon and have long barbels. However, Koi fish purists do not consider them a true Koi, leading to various controversies.
What Beginners Need to Know About Buying Show-Quality Koi
Would you like to invest your time in raising beautiful, award-winning koi?
You will need to buy them from a dealer. And when you do, it helps to know a few rules
- The posted price is not always the final price you will pay. Dealers often make deals that lower the price of their fish. But negotiate privately. The koi dealer will not want to offend other customers by giving you a lower price in their presence.
- If someone else requests the dealer to put the koi fish in a bowl for closer viewing, that customer has the first choice. If they want to buy it, you won’t be able to get it. But if you ask the dealer to put the fish in a bowl so you can take a closer look, you have the first refusal for the fish.
- Don’t ask the price of the fish in the bowl until the dealer has released it back into the pond. Then, if you agree to the price, be sure you get the fish you picked out.
$1.8 Million for a Koi Fish?
Koi fish look something like an oversized goldfish, but the two species aren’t even remotely related, and they sell for very, very different prices.
Koi fish are a type of carp. It is easy to find carp all over the world, but koi are special.
Koi fish can be beautiful. And they come in a dazzling variety of colors and scale types that make them prized pond fish, especially in Asia.
In 2018, a bidding war erupted over a beautiful, prize-winning koi named S Legend—which was eventually auctioned off for the equivalent of USD $1.8 Million (£1.4 million). Not a lot is known about the winning bidder for the fish. She calls herself Miss Yingying and she lives in Taiwan.
But a lot is known about the world’s most expensive koi carp.
At the time of the record-breaking sale, Legend S was nine years old. The 3 feet 3 inches (101 cm) female carp had a lineage. She was raised at the Saki Fish Farm in Hiroshima by renowned komi breeder Kentaro Sakai.
Legend S had won the title All Japan Grand Champion Koi. There isn’t any prize money, but, among koi carp fanciers, there is a lot of prestige. Miss Yingying was hoping Legend S would win the competition twice, and, according to Nishikigoi Life, she later did.
Of course, $1.8 million is an unusual price for even these beautiful fish. You may be able to find a young koi at Petco for $20.
Next-day delivery from a koi farm in Israel is available for about $650. Koi carp that have been through quarantine from Japan usually cost about $2500 each.
It’s the prize-winning carp that can cost much, much more.
Exactly how much more depends on the age and competition history of the individual fish. Here are some price ranges for champion komi from recognized Japanese breeders.
- Kloubec Koi operates in the United States. It resells large to extra-large koi with rare patterns raised in Japan for $350 to $2500.
- Kodama Koi Farm is based in Japan. It offers large- to jumbo-sized koi with breeding certificates. You will have to bid against other buyers, and you could pay as much as $16,000 for a single fish.
- Sakai Fish Farm in Japan sells koi that have the potential to grow to become champions. It also operates an auction, and gets as much as $200,000 for a single fish.
It’s hard to predict which koi will become a champion. Judges consider the markings on the fish, as well as its size. They also judge how gracefully it moves.
But the most important quality of all is the koi’s coloring. You judge a koi’s color while standing over it.
Koi have six types of color cells in their scales, red, yellow, black, white, blue, or metallic.
In order to get a beautiful reddish-orange pattern like the one on the $1.8 million winner Legend S, you need to have a fish that has a white body and lots of red cells that concentrate in red patches.
But having the right color cells is only part of what makes a koi beautiful.
Color cells in the koi’s skin sit at different levels. Some are up near the surface, and some are deeper inside the skin. This determines how bright the fish’s colors will be.
The brighter the colors, the more the fish will cost.
Just how hard is it to breed koi for color? One breeder reports that he starts with 3,000,000 hatchlings every year. Of those baby fish, he chooses 15,000 to raise a second year. Then he looks for the best 1,000 to raise the third year.
Legend S was a one in three million fish. When you pay a huge price for a koi fish, you are paying for the very best of the very best.
Also read: Are Koi Fish Good for Aquaponics?
How Expensive Are Koi Fish Compared to Other Pond Fish?
While koi fish can be quite expensive, they are not necessarily the most expensive type of pond fish. In fact, there are several other types of pond fish that can fetch higher prices than Koi.
These include goldfish, which are often sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and stingrays, which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
These are just a few of the most expensive types of Koi fish. If you are interested in purchasing any of these, be prepared to spend a decent amount of money.
However, many Koi enthusiasts feel that the beauty and uniqueness of these fish are worth the high price tag.
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