The veiltail is one of the hardest fancy goldfish to breed true to type, and it is very difficult to produce good quality specimens conforming to the standard in all respects. However, it is one of the most graceful and ornamental fish and is deservedly popular amongst breeders.

The veiltail was probably first produced in America in the 1920s and 1930s (reportedly from metallic fish imported from Japan in 1893), where it was known as the Philadelphia veiltail; calico strains were achieved by crossing with calico globe eyes. Further development then took place in Britain. It is known as the feather-dress (long-finned man-yu) in the Far East.