Counter Strike: Global Offensive's skin market is… insane, to put it lightly. The loot-box-like nature of acquiring skins and the different variations of said skins paved the way for a market that sells these in-game items at outrageous prices. Some of the best skins have sold for over $10,000, with rare knives going for even higher prices.

A few days ago, the most expensive skin for CS:GO's AK-47 Rifle has been put up for sale. Twitter user @Luksumbums put out a tweet announcing that his Case Hardened AK-47 skin is up for grabs. The Danish skin collector will be selling the “best” AK skin of it's kind for over $400,000. So far, no one has gotten this skin yet.

Non-gaming fans (or really, non-CS:GO fans) would probably like to know why this AK-47 skin costs so damn much. It's just a skin, right? Well, in this article, we'll break down the different reasons why this AK skin is worth over $400,000.

The Anatomy of a CS:GO skin

The first thing you need to know about CS:GO skins are that they are acquired via a loot-box system. Crates are periodically released with various gun skin ranging in quality. When you open a case, you have a set probability of getting one of these skins. The higher quality your skin is, the more expensive it will be.

Seems straight-forward, right? Not quite. Every CS:GO skin in the game is created once a player “pulls” the gun from a crate. These skins have different values that affect their appearance. For this particular skin, we take note of two specific values, float value and pattern number.

The float value of a CS:GO skin determines the “Wear Condition” of said gun. This is basically a sliding scale from 0.00 to 1.00 that affects the appearance of a skin. There are five different “Wear Conditions” for a gun skin: Factory New, Minimal Wear, Field-Tested, Well Worn, and Battle Scarred. Generally speaking, Factory New guns sell the best.

On the other hand, the pattern number of a CS:GO skin determines the intricacies of the design of every gun. While all M9 Fade Bayonets may look the same, a closer inspection reveals differences between each one. Certain skin patterns are appealing because they look better, or they are rare in the market.

Other factors that affect a CS:GO skin's price are StatTrak and stickers. A skin with a StatTrak kill counter will always be more valuable than a similar skin without the counter. Stickers, on the other hand, add value to a skin based on how rare they are and the quality of the sticker. Rare Holo stickers cost more than certain skins.

Why this AK-47 Skin Is Expensive

Now that we know the anatomy of a CS:GO skin, we can now analyze each and every part of this Case-Hardened AK-47 to see why it costs nearly half a million dollars. The first thing to take note here is that the skin has four Titan Holographic stickers planted firmly on the gun body. These stickers are incredibly rare, and therefore are extremely valuable. Add to that the fact that it's a Holo sticker, and you're looking at a price of about $60,000 per sticker.

On the surface, a Case-Hardened AK-47 skin shouldn't be priced too high in the CS:GO market. Compared to other guns, it's a bit, well, underwhelming. Like with most valuable things, though, its rarity and perceived value is what drives the price up.

For one, this particular Case-Hardened skin has a pattern value of 661. This gives the top of the gun a nice blue finish, and is generally one of the best-looking patterns for this gun. In addition, the gun also has a Stat-Trak counter, which is always great to have in any CS:GO skin. Finally, the skin's wear condition is “Minimal Wear”, the second-best condition behind Factory New.

Individually, these elements don't really drive up the value of a skin to astronomical heights. What makes this skin unique, though, is that it's the only CS:GO skin in existence with these combination of values. All of these great qualities are combined into one skin. Add to that the value of the stickers on the gun, and you have yourselves a potentially $500,000 skin.

Interestingly, Luksusbums, the owner of this skin, initially bought this skin for around $150,000 last year. Now, he's selling it for an insanely large amount. If you think that no one is crazy enough buy an in-game item for this much money, think again: the most expensive knife in CS:GO sold for over $1.5 million.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why this skin is worth this amount of money.