What Is The Most Expensive CSGO Skin?

most-expensive-csgo-skins-ever

9 minutes

Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Stole Kostov

The most expensive CSGO skin will warp your perception of reality. If you’re not familiar with the gaming industry, you are probably wondering. How come there’s so much money involved over pixels on a screen?

Well, these are not Poki games. Counter-Strike has been around for a few decades in one way or another. With CS2 going online in 2023, that trend is set to continue. Being one of the best free crossplay games, its popularity is unlikely to fade away quickly.

So, what makes its in-game memorabilia so expensive? Hearing the price of the most expensive CSGO skin ever sold will probably shock you. Stick with us as we dive into digital currencies and capital investment courtesy of the 2024 gaming industry!

What Is The Most Expensive CSGO Skin?

As of 2024, the Case Hardened Blue Gem Karambit knife skin remains the most expensive CSGO skin on the market. The only known knife skin with this pattern and colorway was unboxed in 2016 and was sold for $100.000.

The chances of getting your hands on this skin is 1 in 367 million, so you’re better off getting a lottery ticket. A few years ago, the owner reportedly rejected an offer worth $1,5 million USD, saying the price was too low.

The price is based on a lot of things, mostly the pattern and colorway. Pattern indexes in Counter-Strike range from 1 to 1,000, and this is all randomly decided when crafting or opening cases.

The community has created several different categories for patterns that share similar characteristics, but for case-hardened skins, only the gold gem and blue gem are important.

This extremely rare knife is one of a kind, with a wear rating of 0.0480 and pattern template 387, which means it classifies as a “Blue Gem” because it appears completely blue on one side.

So, you’re probably wondering how someone can pass up on generational wealth and make 15x on their initial investment. Well, stick with us as we uncover how the Steam platform and CSGO skins actually work. 

Karambit Case Hardened Blue Gem

The Karambit Case Hardened Blue Gem is one of the most sought-after knife skins in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). This iconic skin gained its popularity due to its unique and visually striking patterns on the blade.

The Karambit Case Hardened Blue Gem features vibrant blue patterns on the blade, handle, and spine of the knife. The intensity and placement of the blue vary from knife to knife, making each Blue Gem unique.

There are different pattern variations of the Blue Gem, including full blue gems, half blue gems, and patterns with blue mixed with gold or purple hues. As is the case with case-hardened weapons in real life, they either obtain a gold or blue pattern. This makes every Case Hardened skin unique, with the most desirable being Blue Gems, which feature a full, symmetrical blue pattern on the blade.  Knives with such patterns are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, contributing to their high market value.

The market value of Karambit Case Hardened Blue Gems can vary significantly depending on factors such as the intensity and symmetry of the blue pattern, the wear condition (Factory New, Minimal Wear, etc.), and overall rarity. Some Blue Gems have been known to fetch several hundreds of thousands of dollars in the CS:GO Steam marketplace.

As with other CS:GO skins, the condition of the Karambit Case Hardened Blue Gem affects its value. Factory New (FN) knives with vibrant, well-defined blue patterns command the highest prices, while Battle-Scarred (BS) knives with faded or worn patterns are less desirable and typically less expensive.

Top 10 Most Expensive CS2 Skins

02. AK-47 Case Hardened (661 Pattern)

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Price: $40,000-$1 million+

Around Christmas 2024, probably the most expensive AK-47 was unboxed. It belongs to the same family of skins as the most expensive CSGO skin. This Case Hardened AK-47 skin has a 661 pattern, which makes it a blue gem.

This skin belongs to a collection released alongside the Arms Deal update, more than 10 years ago. It’s the same collection we got the Karambit skin from and some pretty expensive gloves. But the fact that this pattern wasn’t unboxed until now makes it that more rare.

So far, only 66 of these AK skins have been unboxed or crafted, and this is the only one that is Factory New and StatTrek.  

The pattern index 661 or scar pattern blue gem is distinguished by its large blue pattern visible along the top rail of the gun. Usually, skins with this pattern start from $40.000 and go up depending on their features, use, and rarity.

Adding old stickers on it would also increase the price, especially if the stickers are a part of some rare Esports drop from over a decade ago. According to reports, this new AK-47 Case Hardened has already received 2 offers for $1 million. But the owner seems to be holding out and asking for $2 million, looking to initiate a bidding war. 

03. Souvenir AWP Dragon Lore

most-expensive-csgo-skins-awpsuv

At one point this was the most expensive CSGO skin. Now, it holds the title of the most expensive AWP skin in CS2. Skins released in the Dragon Lore collection had a starting price of $2,500 back in 2014 when it was released.

Only 5000 of these collections were ever sold, and considering the AWP is the most popular weapon, the price for this weapon skin immediately jumped due to high demand. The most expensive is the Souvenir version.

These are skins that were used by the best CSGO players in live Esports tournaments, which is why they carry the Souvenir title.  There are only 114 of them in existence, and considering it’s very old skin, not many of them are in pristine condition.

While normal Dragon Lore AWP skins can cost tens of thousands of dollars, the cheapest Souvenir version costs at least $50,000. If the skin is Factory New, belonged to a famous esports player, and has some old stickers that they used, it can fetch more than $250,000 on the open market. This skin has a calculated drop rate of about 0.0004%, so collectors are willing to pay a premium to have a piece of history.

04. StatTrak M4A4 Howl

most-expensive-csgo-skins-howl

This is the only Contraband skin in the game, which makes it one of the collector’s most popular choices. The collection was available only for a short amount of time when it was released in 2014.

The artist that created it issued a DMCA takedown notice that removed the skin from loot boxes after only a month. So it can’t even be unboxed now, even if you bought the case a decade ago.

The only skins in existence are the ones that have already been unlocked.

Due to its rarity and beautiful colorway, the M4A4 Howl is one of the most expensive CSGO skins. There are so few of them that were unboxed with the StatTrak option, that Factory New examples for $200.000 are considered steals.

05. IBUYPOWER Holo Sticker

As you’ve already noticed, the rarer a skin is, the more expensive it gets. Especially if there are rare stickers on them. In this case, the IBUYPOWER stickers from 2014 Katowice are pricier than entire collections on this list.

a virtual sticker takes fourth place on the list. But looking at the most expensive skins ever sold in 2022, and, well – it’s there, for a cool $55,990 in the current market.

The team disbanded in 2015 after they were involved in a match-fixing scandal, which only added to the rarity of the sticker as the team never had the chance to add more to their collection.

Most of these stickers have already been applied to other weapons to increase their value, so supply is on the short side. The last one that was sold fetched $60.000 in 2022, which makes it the most expensive sticker far and away.

06. Vice / Pandora’s Box Sport Gloves (Factory New)

most-expensive-csgo-skins-gloves

Sport Gloves were among the original 17 gloves added to CS:GO in the Glove Case update in 2016. This Vice colorway was only obtainable through a Pandora Box Variant, which was a one-time release 2 years later.

Apart from being extremely rare, these gloves have been a favorite of many AWPers who have dominated the professional CSGO scene. As such, they are worth more than any other gloves, especially in Factory New condition. $50.000 is the low-end price for examples of this quality.

07. StatTrak Karambit Crimson Web Factory New

Another Karambit skin finds its way on this list. Red is an especially rare color for CSGO skins, especially on knives. This Karambit has a blade with a matte black handle, and a black web splurge all over the blade. Alongside the StatTrak option, you can have the Spiderman Karambit for $20.000.

08. AWP Gungir Factory New

The Gungnir AWP is one of the newest premium AWP skins to emerge on the Steam market. It was released in 2019 as part of Operation Shattered Web, and it’s drop-dead gorgeous. Not a lot of them have been unboxed yet, as the Gungnir AWP was part of the Norse collection, which featured Odin’s spear running along the body of the weapon. A Factory New example goes for $15.000.

Why Are CS2 Skins Expensive?

Rarity

As with all collector’s items, the rarer the better. When it comes to CSGO skin, they are categorized by tiers. Currently, in CS2, there are eight levels of skin rarity. The most common grade of skin is ‘Consumer’ and the rarest is ‘Contraband’ (only one skin-already mentioned M4A4 Howl)

  • Consumer (White)
  • Indsutrial (Light blue)
  • Mil-Spec (Blue)
  • Restricted (Purple)
  • Classified (Pink)
  • Covert (Red)
  • Contraband (Orange)
  • Extraordinary (Gold)

Color Pattern

Unlike in other titles, every skin in CSGO is somewhat unique due to its pattern. When a skin is generated, it takes up one of the 1000 different patterns. This in itself makes even cheap skins exclusive, especially if they have other features.

We already mentioned the Case Hardened skins, whose price largely depends on the color pattern. More blue color means it’s a blue gem, while more yellow makes it a gold gem. Other types of skins can also have a certain degree of fading on the color.

If the color is not faded and is 100% opacity, the skin can be considered marbleized sapphire, ruby or emerald or any other precious stone. Just like in the case of jewelry, these cost a lot of money.

Wear and Tear

Another variable to consider is the wear of a weapon’s skin. This is measured by its ‘float value’. Floats can range from 0.00-1.00, with 0.00 being the best, most pristine version of a skin, while 1.00 is the most worn version. This is essentially how cosmetics are assessed for their ‘condition.’

And no, you don’t unbox a brand-new skin every single time. They don’t wear out with use, maps or rounds played, or how many times you stabbed the wall. You can unbox a brand new skin and it could be a Well Worn shape. That’s why it will be cheap.

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