Congratulations, Marcus, you have a valuable penny token from New Zealand. Britain's Captain Cook surveyed the islands of New Zealand during the mid-1700s. In 1840 the Brits made a treaty with the native chiefs and white men arrived in droves. There was a massive shortage of government-issued British money, so merchants started to produce their own in 1857. A total of 147 varieties of these fascinating tokens were produced from 10 different cities, including Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Dunedin.
Most merchants issued pennies and half pennies:
PENNY: about 33 mm diameter
HALF PENNY: about 28 mm diameter
The Pratt issue here is a penny-only token.
Collectors today search for New Zealand tokens with a vengeance. It would be a formidable numismatic challenge to assemble a complete set of all varieties.
Recent catalogs show the WILLIAM PRATT penny with very respectable catalog values. However, we have checked actual auction results and the catalogs are a little optimistic: Pratt tokens usually sell for more than the catalogs indicate. The pictured token comes from Baldwins in London where it sold for $480 US dollars during a 2011 auction. CoinQuest thanks Baldwins for use of their coin photo.
worn: $300 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $800
well preserved: $1500
To convert these catalog values to actual buy and sell values, consult our Important Terminology page.