With a family history within Montreal reaching as far back as 1840, Canada's premier jewellery retailer was founded in the city by Henry Birks in 1879. His business was an immedeate success, and within thirty years Birks branch stores were being opened nationwide. By the late twentieth century, Canadian diamonds were coming out on to the world market, and by establishing a 50 control of these stones, Birks continue to uphold themselves as leader in the Canadian jewellery industry.
Of her seven official and three private tours of Canada, the only one to occur before the 1960s was H.R.H. The Princess Margaret's first and most extensive which lasted a month. Together with her Maple Leaf brooch (lot 64 also by Birks) and the Commemorative Gold Ingot (lot 25), the Princess also acquired these often worn and well treasured earrings on this particular Canadian visit.