Koi fish are the highlight of the lake and are sought after by many fish lovers. The variety of shapes, colors, and patterns in each type of Koi can make newcomers overwhelmed when learning.
There are now more than a hundred different species of Koi. However, they are not all the same because each type will have characteristics.
Some species will have a higher rarity and value than others. So, what is the rarest Koi fish? Let’s find out in the section below.
The Rarest Type Of Koi Fish
The rarest Koi breeds have undergone thorough cross-breeding to show their unique pattern, size, and shapes, such as Utsuri, Ai Goromo, Asagi, and Kohaku.
You can usually find these rare species in specialized breeders in Japan. They often appear in competitions and exhibitions.
Ki Utsuri is a type of black Koi with extremely prominent yellow spots on the body. This fish belongs to the Utsurimono clade and is one of the rarest species available today.
The word Ki means energy or atmosphere in Japanese. At the same time, Utsuri means reflection.
Utsuri’s patterned style follows a traditional concept of yin and yang. Half of their body is a non-metallic color, while the rest is glossy black.
This variety has the same coloration as a Utsuri carp, but its color is more distinctive thanks to a recessive gene. It makes Ki Utsuri rare in the market.
You will have a hard time breeding Ki Utsuri without enough knowledge and expertise about this fish. Its prices range from $150 to $3,000 or more.
Generally, the larger, sturdier, and fresher the Utsuri is, the higher the value.
Continuing to represent the Utsurimono family, Hi Utsuri stands out with its vibrant black and red colors. The “Hi” in its name also means red in Japanese.
The color of Hi Utsuri may vary. However, to appreciate a Utsuri carp is to look at their large patches of alternating pigment.
Hi Utsuri prices fluctuate, but they usually start at $600 or more.
In the Goshiki family, Kuro Goshiki is the rarest fish. This variety is heavily colored with lots of black and red patches all over the body.
Some carps even have a pattern of color or veining on top of the red spots.
In Japanese, Goshiki means five colors. This variety includes black, red, white, dark blue, and black blue.
You can even get an almost purple creature if you know how to breed these colors together.
What is unique about Ai Goromo is the translucent blue border surrounding its red fins. This beautiful variety results from a successful cross-breeding of a Kohaku and an Asagi.
Although there is no confirmation yet, many people think of Kohaku because of the distinctive blue and white rims on the fish’s body.
The older the carp, the thicker and darker the blue border becomes over time. So, if you come across a Kohaku fish with a light blue frame around its body, it will probably be an Ai Goromo.
You won’t find too much information about this carp on social media except that it comes from Yatsushiro. This city belongs to Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.
This Koi fish has two distinct colors, white and black. At first glance, the pattern on their body looks almost like a cow’s with black and white markings.
The Kikokuryu is one of the most popular Koi breeds, thanks to its shimmering body with bright orange and silver colors. On top of the beautiful platinum scales, some fish will also have black and white markings on the body.
The length and color will determine the price of Kikokuryu. Carps that are tangled in color and less than a foot long typically cost as little as $300.
However, beautiful and well-bred fish will have a higher starting price. If they have a good lineage, the cost can increase to $2000.
One of the rarest branches is the Beni Kikokuryu. Recently, they began to appear strongly in the United States and Japan.
Its metallic luster and clear colors are what make it stand out.
Tancho’s shape is very simple but extremely impressive. This variety has a white body and a bright orange dot on the top of its head.
Many people may confuse the color of Tancho with Kohaku varieties. However, this type of Koi carp has the most special feature because it simulates the Japanese flag.
In the Bekko family, Ki Bekko is the rarest breed of Koi. This carp results from unintentional crossbreeding between Kigio, Shiro Bekko, and Sanke.
Its body is yellow and has many black patterned spots extending throughout. A special feature is that these black spots appear only on the upper surface, and the underside is completely yellow.
The Kumonryu is a rare scaleless Koi on this list. Its body has various white and beige patterns on a black background.
The way to breed a Kumonryu is to cross a Matsukawa Bakke and a Shusui.
Kin Showa is a representative that brings together the typical elements of a carp of the Showa family. It has a motoguro pectoral fin, a black pattern on its head, and white bands surrounding its body.
They also have transparent orange and white patterns and metallic scales.
Kin Kabuto represents the Ogon family with its ubiquitous gold pattern and metallic fins. This breed is old because it appeared in Japan in the early 1900s.
Many households like to keep Kin Kabuto in the aquarium because they are very friendly and have good communication skills with humans. You will often see this fish floating to the surface to observe and interact with you.
The characteristic of the Ginrin line is its beautiful diamond-colored iridescent scales. This carp comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Ginrin’s most common colors are yellow bodies or patchy orange spots. When viewed in the sun, Ginrin’s diamond scales are particularly striking.
A special feature of this breed is that its patterns are unique. It is like a fingerprint, and almost no two fish have the same pattern.
The Ginrin Matsukawabake is a rare carp that you can hardly find information on online. Its scales are shiny, translucent, and have a distinctive shape.
Ginrin Matsukawabake’s colors can be black, white, or silver. The Japanese are so fond of this fish that they call them living swimming pearls (Nishikigoi).
Taisho Sanke, or Sanke for short, is the first type of “calico” Koi that appeared and has a long history. Its white body will have black patterns interspersed with small red patches.
This breed also belongs to a group of carp called the Big Three, including Sanke, Showa, and Kohaku Koi.
Sanke is said to have appeared in the early 19th century at an exhibition in Tokyo. However, there is no evidence that this fish was intentionally bred.
The Matsuba is one of the most diverse varieties of Koi available. They come in so many different patterns and colors that they can be difficult to identify.
However, with the growing demand in the market for this breed, it is not surprising that their value is increasing.
Matsuba’s base color is solid metal with a black patterned finish. Depending on the color and design, their prices fluctuate greatly.
The “pinecone” pattern is the highlight of this breed. The center of the scale will darken and become lighter as it progresses to the edges.
This carp can grow up to three feet. Some fish also have outstanding and beautiful ancestors to get more attention in the market.
Platinum Ogon is one of the most beautiful and expensive fish on the Koi market. Its body is a pure white color and is devoid of any pattern.
In Japan, Platinum Ogon is also known as Purachina Ogon. Households prefer this carp because it is still very prominent to observe when the lake is cloudy.
Some stores may advertise that the Yamabuki Ogon is a Platinum breed. The Yamabuki variety has noticeable yellow markings at the base of the pectoral fins.
Doitsu is also known as German Koi. They have few scales, so their body is not shiny like other breeds.
Despite this, Doitsu remains one of the world’s rarest and most beloved varieties. It is nearly impossible to determine a breed standard in terms of color because of the complex breeding history of this fish.
The popular fishes in the Doitsu line are the black, white, and orange varieties. The fresher the color and the longer the body, the higher the value of the fish.
Asagi is one of the oldest Koi fish in the world. This carp is one of the most premium varieties on the market as it can get close to the $1000 mark.
Asagi’s head is usually gray or red. However, its flawless variant stands out with its white tip.
Asagi’s non-metallic scales are lapis lazuli-like blue with eye-catching red spots. Blue makes up most of the body color of this breed.
If an Asagi fish develops a lot of white scales, it will be named Taki Asagi. In contrast, the dominant variants of red pigment are called Hi Asagi.
The most expensive Koi fish in the world belongs to the Kohaku line with S Legend. Its value falls in the $1.8 million range with a body over three feet long.
This fish is one of the oldest cross-breeding lines. It has a white body with vibrant red-orange spots covering its head, abdomen, fins, and dorsal spine.
The rarest types of Koi depend on their unique color, shape, and pattern. They are often the result of deliberate cross-breeding by humans.
If you are thinking about setting up an aquarium, this article is the best way to help you learn about the different varieties of koi fishes.
What kind of fish do you like? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments section below.