The 10 Most Expensive Goldfish in the World


Most-Expensive-Goldfish-in-the-World

Goldfish have a reputation for being inexpensive, with the average Comet goldfish typically costing less than $0.50. But some varieties of goldfish cost upwards of $100! So, you may wonder, “What is the most expensive goldfish in the world?”

The most expensive goldfish in the world is the Tosakin. This goldfish typically sells for between $100 and $600. Prices vary depending on the fish’s age, size, and coloration. The Giant Thai Lionchu goldfish is almost as pricey, with most costing between $100 and $400.

Let’s rank the priciest goldfish on the planet and discuss why some goldfish cost hundreds of dollars while others are only worth a few cents. That way, you can choose one of the world’s most expensive goldfish to add to your home fish tank!

Why Are Some Goldish Expensive?

Though your local pet store’s goldfish might only cost a few dollars each, there are several varieties of exotic goldfish that are worth far more. But why are some goldfish so expensive?

Well, there are a few factors that determine a goldfish’s worth, including:

  • Size
  • Type rarity
  • Coloration

If you’re looking for high-quality goldfish for sale, you’ll want to keep these factors in mind. But let’s take a moment to explore each of these qualities to discover how they influence goldfish price.

Size

Just like koi, the most expensive goldfish tend to weigh several pounds. Goldfish with longer bodies also tend to be valuable. Specimens that measure more than seven inches in length can easily fetch between $20 and $600, depending on the variety.

One of the fascinating fish facts about goldfish is that they never stop growing. Healthy fish kept in massive tanks with clean water can reach enormous sizes.

Consider the nine-pound goldfish discovered in Oak Grove Lake in Greenville, South Carolina, for a great example of this!

Type Rarity

There are hundreds of goldfish varieties, and new hybrid types develop each year. Some varieties, like Comet goldfish, are widespread. But other types, like hybrid goldfish, are far rarer.

It’s worth noting that hybrid species created via human intervention (including modern hybrid goldfish varieties) tend to be more expensive than natural species. For example, some of the most expensive plants result from years-long research and hybridization.

Hybrid goldfish can also be challenging to breed and find. This scarcity significantly increases the price.

Generally, items in low supply fetch a much higher price, especially when in high demand. This concept is called the law of supply and demand. It affects the cost of almost every item and resource.

The Tosakin goldfish is a prime example of this. These Japanese fish nearly went extinct due to bombing (in World War II) and natural disasters.

Though their numbers have increased since the 1940s, they remain one of the world’s rarest and most precious types of goldfish. Consequently, they’re also the most expensive.

Remember, rarity is one of the defining factors contributing to any item’s price, including expensive seafood!

Coloration

A goldfish’s coloration also contributes to its price, as some colors are far rarer than others. For example, orange-colored goldfish tend to be quite common, but white, black, gold, and multicolored goldfish are scarcer.

These different colors are the result of recessive gene expression. Therefore, the only way to produce offspring fish with these unusual scale colors is to breed fish that express recessive genes.

This feat can be challenging and is sometimes the result of pure luck. As a result, goldfish with uncommon scale colors fetch a higher price than those with standard orange scales.

Most Expensive Goldfish: Summary List

  1. Tosakin Goldfish
  2. Giant Thai Lionchu Goldfish
  3. Ranchu Goldfish
  4. Giant Oranda Goldfish
  5. Panda Ranchu Goldfish
  6. Red and White Short-Tail Ryukin Goldfish
  7. Chocolate Pompom Goldfish
  8. Red Cap Oranda Goldfish
  9. Lionhead Goldfish
  10. Black Telescope Goldfish

10. Black Telescope Goldfish

Black-Telescope-Goldfish

The Black Telescope goldfish (also called the Black Moor goldfish) is unique due to its solid black coloration and bulbous, telescopic eyes. It almost resembles a tiny version of the Black Shark, but it’s far less aggressive!

These gorgeous, dark-hued fish contrast beautifully with the bright greens of aquatic plants, but they can become almost invisible when hiding between rocks or inside artificial caves.

Why It’s Expensive

Black scales are a recessive trait in goldfish, and the Black Telescope results from decades of careful breeding. But even the most diligent breeders occasionally find their newly bred Black Telescope offspring aren’t entirely black.

As such, Black Telescope goldfish with entirely black bodies and eyes are valuable additions to any ornamental fish collection. That said, the average specimen costs between $10 and $30.

9. Lionhead Goldfish

Lionhead-Goldfish

While male lions have mighty manes, Lionhead goldfish have gigantic bubble-like heads and faces! You might even guess that these fish suffer from food allergies, as their eyes are almost obscured by their puffy faces.

Occasionally referred to as “egg-shaped fish,” these goldfish also have large rounded bodies and curved backs. Like common goldfish varieties, Lionfish goldfish have golden-orange scales along their bodies.

Why It’s Expensive

The bigger the goldfish, the higher the price! And the Lionhead goldfish is one of the largest varieties, making it slightly pricier than the standard Comet goldfish.

Fishkeepers with a passion for ornamental fish tend to gravitate toward the Lionhead due to its golden coloration, large body, and distinctly grumpy appearance.

While this fish isn’t the priciest, you can expect to spend between $15 and $40 per Lionhead.

8. Red Cap Oranda Goldfish

Red-Cap-Oranda-Goldfish

The most noticeable and prized feature of Oranda goldfish is their large, bubble-like head. This growth sits atop their head and is called a wen.

But upon first glance, you may think that the Red Cap Oranda goldfish is wearing its brain outside its body! That’s because these fish have silvery white bodies and frilly, semi-transparent fins.

Their only coloration comes from the bulbous red wen on their heads. This feature makes the Red Cap Oranda one of the most striking goldfish on earth. It also makes it one of the most expensive, with an average price of $20 to $50 per fish.

Why It’s Expensive

The Red Cap Oranda goldfish is costlier than other types of goldfish because of its noticeable red wen and shimmering silver body. It’s an ornamental fish that aquarists adore due to its appearance, peaceful disposition, and unlimited growth potential.

Due to their popularity, many fish breeders specialize in producing Red Cap Oranda goldfish. As such, they’re in high demand, but they’re also in high supply.

7. Chocolate Pompom Goldfish

Chocolate-Pompom-Goldfish
photo source: Wikimedia Commons

It isn’t challenging to figure out how these goldfish get their name. It only takes one look to see the two pompom-like growths (often called nasal lobes) in front of their eyes.

Some Pompom goldfish have brown or dark orange growths, but Chocolate Pompom goldfish have bright orange nasal lobes that contrast beautifully with their dark brown or golden-brown bodies.

Why It’s Expensive

Like the Red Cap Oranda goldfish, Chocolate Pompom goldfish derive their worth from their distinct appearance. The priciest of these fish tend to feature darker brown scales and almost neon orange nasal lobes.

Fortunately, you won’t need to spend a small fortune to get your hands (or nets) on one of these fish. The average price for a Chocolate Pompom goldfish is between $20 and $50 per fish.

6. Red and White Short-Tail Ryukin Goldfish

Red-and-White-Short-Tail-Ryukin-Goldfish

The Ryukin goldfish is one of the most popular types of fancy goldfish. Its most noticeable features include its compact body, plump belly, and tall spine.

These goldfish almost look like the letter ‘O’ with a tiny face and a few fins attached. Like other varieties, the Ryukin goldfish is available in a wide array of color patterns.

But one of the priciest types of Ryukin goldfish is the Red and White Short-Tail. These fish tend to have silvery white bodies with dramatic orange or red markings across their fins, belly, and face.

Why It’s Expensive

Because white scales are recessive throughout the goldfish family, the Red and White Short-Tail Ryukin is relatively rare. As you might expect, this makes them pricier than other types of Ryukin goldfish.

The average Red and White Short-Trail Ryukin goldfish costs anywhere from $40 to $80, depending on its size and patterning.

5. Panda Ranchu Goldfish

Panda-Ranchu
photo source: hermantogoldfish.com

Did you know that goldfish originate from China? As such, it makes sense that one of the costliest varieties is the Panda Ranchu!

This goldfish gets its name from its distinct black and white coloration. However, unlike pandas, they’re available for purchase worldwide. But they’ll cost you a pretty penny (or ten thousand).

Depending on its size and scale pattern, the Pandu Ranchu goldfish typically costs between $50 and $180. Fish with a large wen (a bubble-like growth on the head) are particularly prized.

Why It’s Expensive

The Panda Ranchu goldfish is one of the most expensive fish due to its rarity and unique coloration. While common goldfish have orange-hued scales, this fish has white and black scales.

This goldfish’s eyes are another unusual physical feature that makes avid fish collectors swoon. Unlike other types of goldfish, the Panda Ranchu has dark black eyes that match its body coloration.

This goldfish is the result of decades of selective breeding. Producing a patterned Panda Ranchu is far more challenging than breeding a solid black one.

That’s because the Panda Ranchu’s unique pattern results from recessive gene expression. Breeders can spend years attempting to produce the ideal offspring that exhibits the hallmark features of this goldfish type.

This priciest of these panda-colored fish tend to have large bubble-like heads, curved backs, and an unmistakable black and white patterning.

4. Giant Oranda Goldfish

Giant-Oranda-Goldfish

The Giant Oranda goldfish is essentially a larger version of the Lionhead goldfish. It has a large bulbous head and a face covered in bubble-like growths.

However, while Lionfish goldfish typically grow up to six inches in length, Giant Oranda goldfish can reach double that size!

One of the most infamous Giant Oranda goldfish is Rocky, a massive multicolored fish living that earned the title of Britain’s fattest goldfish. Rocky weighed more than two pounds and had an estimated value of more than $6,000.

Why It’s Expensive

The Giant Oranda goldfish is beloved due to its bubble-like physical features and incredible size. When placed in the same tank as standard Comet goldfish, the Giant Oranda looks, well, giant!

Each Giant Oranda goldfish fetches between $90 and $200. Rare colorations, like black, white, or calico, can increase the price of a Giant Oranda goldfish.

3. Ranchu Goldfish

red-and-white-ranchu-goldfish

In Japan, the Ranchu goldfish is known as the “king of the goldfish.” It’s the successor to the Lionhead goldfish and shares several physical similarities, including a rounded body and puffy face.

However, the Ranchu has one of the most well-established lineages of any goldfish. Ranchu goldfish bred in Japan tend to be far costlier than those produced in other countries.

Why It’s Expensive

Japanese Ranchu goldfish are among the priciest goldfish due to their relative rarity, impressive breeding history, and unique physical features. The Ranchu is one of the largest and flattest types of goldfish, almost resembling a smaller version of the common mola.

Aquarists can easily spend between $80 and $400 to score one of these highly-prized goldfish.

2. Giant Thai Lionchu Goldfish

Giant-Ranchu-Lionhead-goldfish

If you bred a Ranchu and a Lionhead goldfish together, you’d get the Giant Thai Lionchu! This hefty goldfish easily measures more than six inches in length and exhibits some of the most treasured features of the Ranchu and the Lionhead varieties.

Giant Thai Lionchu goldfish have bulbous hooded heads, puffy faces, and relatively high curved spines. Giant Thai Lionchu with unique color patterns, such as black and orange or white and orange, are often the priciest.

Why It’s Expensive

A hybrid fish is almost always bound to cost more. They’re the combination of two well-known varieties and are pretty rare.

But the Giant Thai Lionchu is also comparatively huge, which is another factor impacting its price. This unique fish costs between $100 and $500, depending on its size.

1. Tosakin Goldfish

Tosakin-Goldfish
photo source: alchetron.com

If the Ranchu goldfish is the Japanese king of goldfish, then the Tosakin is the queen! It has a flowery, peacock-like caudal tail that resembles a train.

Unlike several other pricey goldfish varieties, the Tosakin goldfish has bright orange scales. But its fins are often tipped with white and semi-transparent, giving it a unique look.

These royal-looking fish have an equally royal price tag, with many selling for between $100 and $600.

Why It’s Expensive

Just like the world’s most expensive milk, the world’s most costly goldfish is incredibly rare and challenging to obtain. In fact, the Tosakin goldfish has faced imminent extinction on multiple occasions.

This fish originates from the Japanese island of Shikoku. During the latter part of World War II, this island withstood repeated bombings.

Sadly, this warfare diminished the number of Tosakin goldfish. Some legends state that by 1945, only two of these fish were left swimming.

And conditions didn’t immediately improve when the war ended. In 1946, the Nankai Earthquake struck Japan, demolishing many buildings that survived the war. The survival of the unique Tosakin goldfish seemed unlikely.

But dedicated fish breeders in the prefecture worked hard to find and breed the few remaining specimens. Their efforts saved the Tosakin goldfish from destruction, but population numbers are still low.

The history, scarcity, and natural beauty of this goldfish make it the costliest goldfish on the planet. It’s not uncommon for fish collectors to spend upwards of $600 to obtain one of these delicate goldfish.

Invest in Valuable Goldfish

The world’s most expensive goldfish tend to be large, big-headed, and uniquely colored. If you’re looking to buy a goldfish for yourself, you might want to invest in one (or several) of the fish listed above.

Notably, goldfish aren’t aggressive. You can keep these valuable fish in a single tank, but you’ll want to provide plenty of swimming areas to encourage rapid growth.

Are you curious to learn more about some of the world’s most expensive animals and items? If so, be sure to check out our blog today!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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