It was a prototype coin made 85 years ago to mark the silver jubilee of a king's reign by representing the then-almost century-old signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Yesterday that same George V silver Pattern "Waitangi" Crown coin - whose issued descendants were worth the equivalent of $30 in today's dollars - sold at auction for more than $100,000.
The US$72,000 ($102,685) world record price sale makes the coin New Zealand's most expensive, Heritage Auctions spokesman Eric Bradley told the Herald on Sunday.
It's not immediately known who bought the coin, or where they're based.
The previous New Zealand record was a coin sold last year in Japan for about US$20,000 ($28,000).
The crown - a pattern coin produced to evaluate a proposed design - was described on the US-based auction house's website as "exceedingly rare".
The design had appeared similar to the ultimate circulation issue of the type of coin, but closer examination showed distinct differences, they wrote.
"Significantly, the crown above the Māori chief and captain shaking hands is noticeably smaller. In the regular circulation series, the design is such that it overlaps both figures.
"Here it is small enough that this does not occur; rather, the crown floats between the two figures, with neither of their heads nor the chief's staff touching this feature."
Other variances were also noted, including the chief's "skirt", which displayed a straight-patterned design unbroken by horizontal lines, the auction house wrote.
"His hair [also] shows significantly less texturing than is seen in the final design choice, and the small cross separating the word "CROWN" from the date is thinner in its design."
In a gushy further description, the coin was also stated to be in "near gem-grade" condition with "only the faintest signs of handling".
"Soft silvery lustre veils the devices and open expanses alike, an undercurrent of sunset hues adding a strong character.
"This example ... represents one of the most important items in the entire New Zealand numismatic series, and whoever comes into possession of this singular selection will find himself the proud owner of a piece of history that remains out of the hands of virtually all other collectors."
Earlier in the same auction yesterday, a 1937 Edward VIII 5 Pounds Pattern coin – one of only a small number of commemorative British gold coins produced for the would-be coronation of Edward VIII – set a world record as the most expensive British coin when it sold for US$2.28m ($3.25m).