How rare are black pearls? CSGO’s rarest knife skins explained

Kenneth Williams • November 18, 19:35

The rarest knife in CSGO is so exclusive that many players haven’t even heard of it.

As of Operation Riptide, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a grand total of 25 different knife finishes. Add in StatTrak and finish quality, and there are more than 200 possible combinations of knife skins. Out of that massive pool, one knife finish stands above the rest as the absolute rarest in all of CSGO. Rubies and sapphires are pretty, but nothing compares to a great pattern on a black pearl.

For CSGO knives, black pearl refers to a special pattern found on doppler skins. They’re extremely dark, but sunlight reveals a complex pattern of dark pinks, greens, and purples. Black pearls aren’t quite as flashy as sapphires, but savvy skin collectors appreciate the subtlety. Part of any black pearl’s allure is its insane rarity. And by many metrics, black pearl is the rarest knife skin in the entirety of CSGO.

How rare are black pearl CSGO knives?

Black pearl knives are about as rare as rubies and sapphires are to normal doppler phases. According to the unofficial CSGO Float Database, there are around 24,937 normal phase doppler karambits in the world. The karambit sapphire and ruby population is 1,424 combined. After nearly seven years of potential unboxings, there are only 162 black pearl karambits in existence. 

A player must first open a knife from a Chroma or Prisma case, which carries less than half of a percent chance. Then they must roll a doppler, which is a flat 16.67% chance taken from that half of a percent.

The odds of your shiny new doppler knife being a black pearl are then approximately 0.6%. That means that you could open 100 doppler knives in a row and you might still not get a black pearl.

These CSGO knife skins are so unbelievably rare that the majority of patterns have not been unboxed yet. Almost every black pearl knife on Float Database is a unique combination of knife, finish, pattern. Almost all of them are factory new due to the doppler’s high minimum float, but there are four miminal wear karambit black pearls in the database. Only one of them is StatTrak™, making it arguably the rarest CSGO skin in the game.

Black pearl knives are a byproduct of the seven-in-one doppler skin. Whenever a player opens a doppler, the skin’s appearance falls into one of three different rarities. The first are phases one through four, which are dark galaxies with murky pools of color. The second are the gemstones, ruby and sapphire. They have a bright and reflective appearance in either red or blue. Black pearl is the final rarity, and the only one tagged with the “ancient” modifier in the game’s files.

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