What is the most expensive koi fish in the world? Top 10 list (with images)

What is the most expensive koi fish in the world? Top 10 list (with images)

Koi fish are some of the world's most expensive pet fish breeds. The high-quality varieties originated in Japan but are now domesticated in various parts of the world. The most expensive koi fish have desirable characteristics that distinguish them from other breeds.

Costly Koi fish
Koi is one of the most expensive fish pet breeds. Photo: Diane Miller
Source: Getty Images

Koi is a common carp fish; its roots can be traced back to over 20 million years ago. Apart from their ornamental beauty, the fish symbolizes good fortune and luck, especially in Japanese culture. Domesticated koi fish are commonly bred in outdoor ponds.

What makes koi fish expensive?

The colouring, lineage, size, variety, and health of koi determine how pricy it is in the market. Bloodlines are crucial price-determining factors because high-quality and rare koi have gone through years of selective breeding.

A single female koi lays thousands of eggs, but the breeder will select ones that have desirable traits to domesticate longer.

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What colour koi is most valuable?

There are several skin colour cells, including blue, red, metallic, white, yellow, and black. The price fetched by a particular koi variety depends on colour balance and patterns. The most valuable types can have an all-metallic gold colour, large red patches on the back, or light blue spots.

How much is a koi fish worth?

There are over 100 koi breeds, but some are more expensive than others. The price for a single fish ranges from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. The following are the most expensive koi fish ever sold.

10. Beni Kikokuryu: $2,000

Ornamental fish
Beni Kikokuryu carps have a metallic shine and usually change colour depending on environmental conditions like water temperature. Photo: Ralph Blankart
Source: Getty Images

Beni Kikokuryu fish have a lustrous metallic body and come in various colours, including white, blue, silver, and black. These koi varieties can change colour depending on environmental factors like water temperature. Prices vary with skin lustre and can cost a few hundred dollars to over $2,000.

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9. Ogon: $2,000

Ogon koi carp
Gold and white Ogon carp. Photo: Sjallenphotography
Source: Getty Images

Ogons usually have a metallic shade of gold or yellow, while some, like the Platinum Ogon, have a bright silvery-white colour. The most expensive varieties include the Ginrin hybrids, which have reflective gold with black lining around each shiny scale. Ogon koi varieties usually have solid body colours with no patterns, but some, like the Yamabuki Ogon, have patches of yellow at the base of their pectoral fins.

8. Utsuri: $3,000

Hi Utsuri breed
Utsuri fish are two-toned koi breeds. Photo: Michael Wood
Source: Getty Images

Utsuri is a two-toned breed. They have shimmering black bodies with a blending of secondary non-metallic colours, including yellow (Ki Utsuri), orange (Hi Utsuri), or white (Shiro Utsuri). These breeds can grow up to 40 inches long and are some of the most expensive koi varieties.

7. Asagi: $3,000

Asagi ornamental fish
Asagi fish are some of the oldest koi breeds. Photo: Andia
Source: Getty Images

Purebred varieties have luminous blue scales with splotches of orange, but you can also find some with white pigmentation (Taki Asagi) or red pigmentation (Hi Asagi). Older fish are generally more expensive because colour pigmentation develops in adulthood.

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6. Doitsu: $3,000

German carp
Doitsu fish have little to know scales. Photo: Oksana Kuznetsova
Source: Getty Images

Doitsu breeds are also called the German Koi. They are the least shiny varieties because they have few or no scales. Common Doitsu colours are orange, yellow, white, and black. Shiny Doitsu is among the most expensive breeds.

5. Tancho: $3,000

Tancho breed
Tancho breeds have a distinctive orange-red circle at the top of their head. Photo: Sodapix
Source: Getty Images

Tancho (which translates to the red sun) varieties have white bodies with a large orange-red mark, splotch, or circle at the top of their heads. Their colours resemble the Japanese flag, making it a priced possession among koi lovers in the country. Tancho's bodies are uniquely flawless and unblemished.

4. Sanke: $6,000

Sanke breeds
Sanke koi fish are among the first tricolour breeds to be developed. Photo: Mtreasure
Source: Getty Images

Sanke breeds have white, red, and black bodies with distinctive white and red colours on their heads. They are among the first tricolour breeds to be developed by breeders. Sanke species are distinguished from the Showa koi varieties by the number of colours on the head. Showa fish have three colours on their head compared to two, which is the case for Sanke heads.

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3. Matsuba: $10,000

Costly fish breeds
Matsuba fish have pinecone patterns. Photo: Wong Liang
Source: Getty Images

Matsuba has unique leaf-shaped or pinecone patterns. Despite their contrasting scale patterns, they are classified under the Hikari Muji class (made up of koi with one solid colour). Their scales have dark centres outlined by edges that display the fish's body colour.

2. Showa: $16,000

Showa koi
Showa in a dark pond. Photo: Stefan Breton
Source: Getty Images

Showa are known for their three dominant colours: white, black, and orange-red. They are the aquatic equivalent of calico cats. Expensive varieties have a precise amount and placement of each colour. Small Showa breeds can be acquired for a few hundred dollars but the price increases with size and beauty.

1. Kohaku: $1.8 million

World's most expensive fish price
Young Kohaku feeding. Photo: Juniperbunny
Source: Getty Images

Which koi fish was sold for $1.8 million? A large female Kohaku called S Legend was sold for a record $1.8 million in Japan during the All Japan Show in 2017, making it the world's most expensive koi fish ever sold. The fish was nine years old and about three feet long with white and red-orange splotches. Kohaku varieties are some of the oldest breeds, and buyers usually spend from $100 to over $15,000 depending on several price-determining factors.

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What does seven koi fish mean?

In Japan, the seven koi fish symbolizes ultimate luck, prosperity, and good fortune. The number is associated with the seven Harajuku Gods, representing ambition, courage, longevity, reliability, friendship, health, and happiness.

How long do koi fish live?

Koi fish have an average lifespan of between 25 to 50 years. The oldest koi ever recorded lived up to 226 years. To ensure long life, the breeder should consider preventative health care, nutrition, pond conditions, and water quality. Genetics also affect koi's lifespan.

The above world's most expensive Koi fish varieties all have exceptional qualities that make them ideal pets for fish lovers. To own one of those, you must be willing to part with a lot of money because good things do not come cheap.

READ ALSO: What is the longest river in South Africa? Top 10 list

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Briefly.co.za highlighted the top ten longest rivers in South Africa. The country has an extensive river network covering a total length of about 163,533 km.

Most rivers in Mzansi flow through several countries in the Southern African region, and the water volume is generally higher in the east compared to the arid west. The Orange River is South Africa's longest river flowing from Lesotho's Drakensberg mountains and extending westwards through Mzansi and Namibia, then into the South Atlantic Ocean.

Source: Briefly News

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Alice Wabwile (Lifestyle writer) Alice Wabwile is a multifaceted content creator and Project Assistant at AfDAN, boasting over four years of experience. Holding a BCom degree from the University of Nairobi School of Business, she has cultivated a dynamic skill set through roles such as her tenure at Strathmore University's Data Science Department, where she contributed significantly to research. Recognized for her exceptional talent, she clinched the Writer of the Year Award. Beyond her professional endeavours, Alice is an engaged member of the Rotaract Club of Kabete. For inquiries, reach out to her at alicenjoro01@gmail.com