Which Koi Fish Is Most Expensive?

Koi fish are a popular and beloved ornamental fish species that originated in Japan. They come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes, making them a favorite among fish enthusiasts.

However, not all Koi fish are created equal – some varieties are more rare and coveted than others, and as such, their prices can reach astronomical levels. In this article, we’ll take a look at which Koi fish is the most expensive.

The History of Koi Fish

Koi fish have been bred for over 200 years in Japan. They were originally used as a food source but eventually became popular as ornamental fish due to their vibrant colors and patterns. The Japanese began selectively breeding Koi for their unique traits and characteristics, leading to the development of many different varieties.

Factors that Affect the Price of Koi Fish

There are several factors that can affect the price of Koi fish:

  • Size: Larger Koi are generally more expensive than smaller ones.
  • Age: Older Koi can be more valuable due to their rarity.
  • Color: Certain colors can be more desirable than others.
  • Pattern: Unique patterns or markings can increase a Koi’s value.
  • Breed: Some breeds are more rare and sought-after than others.

The Most Expensive Koi Fish

The most expensive Koi fish ever sold was a Kohaku variety named “S Legend” that was purchased by a collector in Japan for a whopping $1.8 million USD in 2018. Kohaku is one of the most popular and recognizable varieties of Koi, characterized by its white body with red markings.

Other Expensive Varieties

While Kohaku may be the most expensive Koi fish, there are other varieties that can fetch high prices as well. Here are a few examples:

  • Shusui: This variety has a blue-gray color with a scale pattern along its back. A high-quality Shusui can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Tancho: Tancho Koi have a single red dot on their head, resembling the Japanese flag.A rare and high-quality Tancho can sell for over $100,000.
  • Goshiki: This variety has a blue-gray body with red and black markings. A high-quality Goshiki can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.


Koi fish are not only beautiful but also incredibly valuable. The most expensive Koi fish is the Kohaku variety, but there are many other varieties that can fetch high prices as well. When it comes to buying Koi fish, it’s important to consider factors like size, age, color, pattern, and breed to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

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Daniel Bennet