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Hand-Selected Koi? Wholesale Koi? What's the difference??

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

A serene pond teeming with hand-selected koi is a monument to elegance.

Beautiful koi imported from mountainous Japan swimming with the current can bring peace to anyone’s soul. When watching the koi slowly navigate the pond, you’ll find yourself relaxing with every passing moment, tension rolling away from your body and your breath slowing as you bask in their elegance and grace.

It’s no secret koi are a luxury that few have the privilege of enjoying. As a koi enthusiast, you are likely aware of the various breeds of koi. From Showa and Sanke to kikokuryu and kumonryu, there’s a breed of koi for everybody and they’re all meticulously bred by breeders to produce specific colors, size, and patterns.

But, what exactly is the difference between hand-selected koi and wholesale koi? Let's jump right in!

Hand-Selected Koi

When it comes to breeding koi of the highest quality, it is no simple task. A breeder may start with thousands of koi, slowly culling the population until they have several hundred that may come close to making the cut. It’s a careful and scientific process of employing genetics tactics.

They’ve been pulled and looked at over and over again to ensure they are truly of the highest quality.

It is from these few hundred that we select the koi that you’ll find in our ponds. It’s important to mention that it takes more than simple good taste to choose the most premium koi; it requires years of research and practice.

Essentially, we hand-select the best koi out of the breeder’s best koi. They are thoroughly, meticulously, and carefully vetted by experienced and professional breeders, followed by koi experts.

There is a reason these highly sought after fish have earned their names as living jewels. Jewels are of differing quality; a 100-carat, clear, and deeply red garnet is certainly of a higher value than a cloudy, lightly red, 1-carat garnet. They also require a skilled gemologist to determine which jewels are of higher and lower quality.

At Select Koi, we’re proud to say (and confident) that we only supply 100-carat garnet level koi. You’ll find nothing short of champion koi with us. We work hard to work with the best breeders, breeders who consistently produce grand champions. We travel thousands of miles by plane, train, and koi truck to fetch you only the best koi available.

By highest quality, we mean their colors, patterns, and size have truly earned their names of Showa, Hi Utsuri, Blue Asagi, or other varieties. They are the most true to the category. There are no blemishes, no diseases, and their colors are the most vibrant and deep. It’s similar to the process of classifying pure bred dogs.

Each koi is an original piece of art. In the unlikely event that we cannot find the exact koi you are looking for, we will offer suggestions that are showing similar characteristics based on what AJKS (All Japanese Koi Show) looks for.

The AJKS is the gold standard within the world of koi. During Hunter Neiman’s, the chief executive officer and lead koi selector for Select Koi, first time in the AJKS, he won 2nd place in the Gosanke 80 cm category! He has a natural eye for koi, and he’s on your team!

When traveling through Japan to find koi, one cannot simply walk up to an exclusive koi house of one of the top breeders and buy the best koi in their pond. You must have the appropriate connections; you’ve got to know someone who can vouch for you and your authenticity as a koi collector and enthusiast. Often, it can take weeks or even months before you can even get a meeting with a top koi breeder in Japan.

Fortunately, our team of expert koi collectors have made quick friends of, and have close relationships with, the top breeders in the magnificent mountains of Japan. We have tea with them, discuss the stunning culture and science of koi, and move on to select the best koi they have available.

Pictured above: A hand-selected jumbo Sanke chosen by Hunter in Niigata, Japan.

When working with Select Koi, we will get to know you. We’ll get to know your preferences, your desires, and your goals. We also make personalized suggestions on koi straight from Japan based on what you’re looking for and your preferences. We’ll serve as your own personal buyer’s guide to all things koi.

While at the koi house, you and our team will hop on a FaceTime call (or other video chat) so you can actually see the koi you will be purchasing. Our goal is for you to be 100% satisfied with the koi you receive and find video chat to be a great way to ensure this!

Our goal and company mission is a deep dedication and commitment to bringing your koi dreams to full fruition. Whatever type of koi you dream of, we’ll make it happen. That is a promise.

Wholesale Koi

When you’re buying wholesale koi, it’s a completely different story, a different buying process. The process of choosing them carefully is not integrated into the process. You’re buying bulk from breeders; you go and tell them the number of koi you’d like to purchase, and you leave with that number of koi. No one has poured hours and hours over selecting the most premium koi of the population.

You’re buying the koi unseen; you’re essentially going into the purchasing process completely blind. This is certainly not how you’d want to enter a bid when you’re buying a gem for your loved one! A risky prospect that would be, no?

You won’t really know what you’re getting until you actually lay eyes on the koi; you’re at the total discretion of the breeder. There is no control as there would be if we were hand-selecting your koi ourselves.

That’s why Select Koi has made it our mission to completely bypass this risky prospect to ensure you are getting only the absolute best of the best. This way, you’ll never have to compromise on your dream koi straight from Japan; you’ll get the exact koi, with no blemishes or imperfections.

Pictured above: An example of several common, unrefined koi of low-quality with many imperfections and blemishes.

This is not to say wholesale is not a great option for many koi enthusiasts! Even if you're buying wholesale, you're still buying through a Japanese breeder who has made it their life's mission to cultivate beautiful koi of high quality.

This is also a much more affordable option for many people who want to enjoy the beauty of koi. Often, you can get many many koi wholesale for the price of one, singular hand-selected koi. It really depends on your preferences, goals, and budget.

There's also hand-selected wholesale koi; the best of both worlds! If you're interested in wholesale koi, please visit our sister-company, Value Koi, more than happy to cater to your budget and bring all your koi dreams to fruition!

Select Koi — Your Personal Koi Concierge

With Select Koi, you can trust our experienced koi experts to ensure you’ve purchased the best koi on the planet. If you’re looking for premium, hand-selected koi of the absolute highest quality straight from Japan, Select Koi is here for you.

Looking for a specific koi? Click here to send us your request, and we’ll fetch the best koi of your choice from our breeders in Japan and deliver them directly to your doorstep.

You can also click here to ask any questions you may have regarding koi or our process, including our quarantine process for ensuring the health of your koi. We are so excited to offer you this service and we look forward to working with you!

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