Games like World of Warcraft get their truly hardcore fans hooked through the multitude of items they feature, which can be collected and some of which are indeed so rare, they're borderline impossible to come across. Needless to say, the rarer an item is, the more valuable it is and the more attractive for virtual treasure hunters, some of whom have made something close to a career from digging up/purchasing and then re-selling or simply keeping such items to boast later.
There are items which used to be rare and coveted and later became much more accessible. Such items, which are the treasure hunter's nightmare, are not featured here. We're only looking at goods which can still at least be bought and which aren't in any way mundane.
The Chromatic Sword is the definition of such an item. It is the only item in the game which comes with a rainbow glow and as such, it would probably be popular anyway, regardless of its rarity. It is however extremely rare too, so much so that these days one will only find it in the auction house. Its story is an interesting one as well: the Chromatic Sword used to be dropped by Scale Belly in Stranglethorn...before Cataclysm that is. It was an extremely attractive item back then too, and some players had actually created dedicated level 55 Death Knights just to farm it. Cataclysm demoted Scale Belly though, turning it into a low level monster which now only drops useless items, hence why the Chromatic Sword is now only for those who can afford to invest massive amounts at the Auction House.
Another such tricky item is the Haunted Memento, which - for all intents and purposes - is a fairly useless item, introduced back in 2009 as a special item during the launch of the Wrath of the Lich King. As soon as the event was over, the item got discontinued and it can now be only be found with collectors at the Auction House fetching hundreds of thousands of gold. The Haunted Memento summons an undead entity which then follows the player around, not really accomplishing much else.
No rare item countdown would be complete without the Thistle Tea recipe, which is quite probably the rarest item in the entire game. The reason it's so rare is that it was only available from the very beginnings of the game up to patch 1.3 and it could only be obtained through a quest available only for the Rogue class. From patch 1.3 onward, the entire quest got removed and thus the knowledge of making Thistle Tea got lost forever too. There were only a handful of players who did not actually learn the recipe and they sometimes toss one into the auction house, for a horrifying price, obviously.
Philip Thalberg has been a contributing member of Gosugamers, the web's best destination for eSports VODs and everything regarding competitive gaming, since 2004.