What Koi Fish Is the Most Expensive?

If you are a fan of ornamental fish, you may have heard of the majestic Koi fish. These beautiful creatures have become increasingly popular in recent years, with their vibrant colors and graceful movements captivating fish enthusiasts around the world.

But did you know that some Koi fish can fetch astronomical prices? In this article, we will explore the different factors that contribute to the price of a Koi fish and reveal which variety is considered the most expensive.

The Factors Influencing Koi Fish Prices

Before diving into the world of expensive Koi fish, it’s important to understand the various factors that can impact their price. These factors include:

  • Size: The size of a Koi fish plays a significant role in determining its value. Generally, larger Koi are more expensive as they require more time and resources to grow.
  • Coloration: The coloration of a Koi fish is another crucial factor in determining its price. Highly sought-after colors such as red, white, and black (known as Kohaku), or vibrant patterns like Sanke and Showa can significantly increase its value.
  • Pattern: The pattern on a Koi’s scales is also taken into account when pricing them.A well-defined pattern with crisp edges and balanced distribution adds to the overall appeal.
  • Bloodline: The bloodline or pedigree of a Koi fish can greatly influence its price. Fish from reputable breeders with long-standing lineages tend to command higher prices due to their superior genetics.
  • Symmetry: A symmetrical body shape is highly desirable in Koi fish and can contribute to their value. An evenly proportioned body without any deformities or irregularities is considered ideal.

The Most Expensive Koi Fish Variety

Now that we have a better understanding of the factors that contribute to a Koi fish’s price, it’s time to unveil the most expensive variety. Drumroll, please.. it’s the Kohaku!

Why Kohaku?

Kohaku, with its striking combination of red and white patterns, is undoubtedly one of the most popular and prized varieties of Koi fish. The simplicity and elegance of this variety have captured the hearts of many collectors and enthusiasts. The intensity and purity of the red coloration, combined with the clarity and brightness of the white, are what make Kohaku Koi so highly valued.

Another reason for Kohaku’s high price tag lies in its relative rarity. Achieving a perfect balance between red and white is challenging, and only a small percentage of Kohaku Koi exhibit flawless coloration. This scarcity drives up demand for these stunning fish, leading to their higher market value.

Record-Breaking Prices

The prices commanded by top-quality Kohaku Koi can be mind-boggling. In recent years, several individual fish have been sold for astronomical sums at prestigious Koi auctions in Japan. In fact, the highest recorded price for a Koi fish was set by a beautiful Kohaku named “S Legend” in 2018 when it was sold for a staggering 203 million yen (approximately $1.8 million USD)!

While such exorbitant prices may seem unbelievable to some, they are a testament to the passion and dedication that exists within the world of Koi fish enthusiasts.


In conclusion, while there are many factors that contribute to the price of a Koi fish, it is the Kohaku variety that holds the title for the most expensive. With its mesmerizing red and white patterns and its relative rarity, it’s no wonder that collectors are willing to pay such staggering amounts to own these exquisite fish. Whether you’re a seasoned Koi enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of ornamental fish, the world of Koi fish continues to fascinate with its incredible prices and captivating specimens.

So next time you find yourself dreaming about owning an extraordinary Koi fish, remember that it may come with a hefty price tag attached!

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Lindsay Collins