This two ounce fine silver $30 coin features a real gemstone re-creation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Canadian Maple Leaf brooch which she first wore on a Royal Visit to Canada in 1939. While the original is inlaid with white diamonds, the Royal Canadian Mint’s replica of the Queen’s brooch is inlaid with 3 carats of natural gem quality white zircons. A bonus matching wearable silver brooch pendant with an 18 inch rhodium plated sterling silver chain is also included. The coin has a weight of a little over two ounces of fine silver, and a limited mintage of just 3,000 pieces.
King George VI gifted the maple leaf brooch to Queen Elizabeth for their Canadian tour in 1939. It became a treasured piece and the jewellery of choice for Royals visiting Canada. Princess Elizabeth wore it during her first official tour in 1951. She inherited the brooch as Queen in 2002, and loaned it to The Duchess of Cornwall Camilla for her first tour of Canada with Prince Charles in 2009. The brooch was also worn by Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge during her visits to Canada in 2011 and 2016.
The three dimensional maple leaf brooch element on the coin measures 25x25 mm, and contains more than 100 individually set, white natural zircons. The engraved background design by Canadian artist Jan Poynter forms an ornate border symbolizing the shared history between the United Kingdom and Canada. The design includes a repeating pattern of Tudor roses, thistles, shamrocks and maple leaves, each a key botanical element in the Royal Arms of Great Britain, Wales, Northern Ireland and Canada. The iconic five-point Tudor rose, with its inner and outer petals, provides a framework for a traditional Celtic braid treatment that represents the tradition and heritage that are the heart of Canadian settlement and identity.
Many people may be confused between relatively rare natural zircon stones and mass produced synthetic cubic zirconia (CZ). While zircon and cubic zirconia have similar appearances and names, they are in fact entirely different stones with different chemistry and crystal structure. Zircon is one of the oldest naturally occurring gemstones in the world, older even than diamond, with some examples dating back more than 4 billion years. This ancient gemstone was also used by ancient people, and there are several references to it in the Old Testament. While Zircon's diamond-like luster and tremendous fire have made colorless zircon a popular diamond simulant, Zircon's many attributes also make it a gem to cherish based on its own merits.