When outgoing Governor General David Johnston made his final trip to London to visit the Queen, he packed a special gift for the monarch courtesy of the Canadian government. During a meeting at Canada House on 19 July, the 76-year-old presented the Queen with the Sapphire Jubilee Brooch. The exquisite sapphire, diamond and 18k white gold pendant was designed by Saskatchewan-based jeweller Hillberg & Berk to commemorate the country's 150th anniversary of confederation.
"I can think of no other woman who better represents what sparkle truly means to us," said Rachel Mielke, CEO and Founder of Hillberg & Berk. "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is a symbol of strength and inspiration, not only to Canadians, but to people around the world."
The 4.39 carat Sapphire Jubilee Brooch features more than 400 diamonds and 48 Canadian sapphires sourced from Baffin Island. Its sleek snowflake design is an ode to the chilly landscape of the Arctic. Rachel explained that the process started in 2016 and took about eight months to complete.
This is the second time the Queen has been presented with a Hillberg & Berk design. Back in 2013, Saskatchewan's Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield gifted the monarch with a bespoke pearl, diamond and tourmaline flower brooch. "Hillberg & Berk's purpose is to empower women one sparkle at a time. It is truly humbling and amazing to have H&B now resting in the Queen's jewelry box as she is the original empowered woman," Rachel told HELLO!