This is an extremely rare pair of SPECIMEN brass die trials for the Canadian $20 1986 ½ oz Gold Maple Leaf Coin and includes the only known $20 reverse brass die trial. There are only a few known Canadian SPECIMEN Brass Die Trials in the following denominations: 1/10oz Obv & Rev ($5), 1/4oz Rev ($10), 1/2oz Obv & Rev ($20) & 1oz Obv ($50). This is the only set of both obverse and reverse $20 die trials. They are uniface since each die was tested separately. This pair is in gem specimen condition with original toning.
These two die trials were struck on brass planchets with a diameter of 25 millimeters, specifically produced for testing of the ½ oz Maple Leaf. These were Type One planchets that do not have a raised rim. They were struck in the collar and have a plain edge. The authorized issues struck in gold have reeding and were struck on Type Two gold planchets.
The Royal Canadian Mint issued the first 1 oz Maple Leaf gold coins starting in 1979. It was such a success that they added the ½ oz Maple Leaf in 1986. The obverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II and the reverse has the Canadian Maple Leaf. The ½ oz Maple Leaf has a diameter of 25 millimeters and weighs 7.7850 grams. It was struck in .9999 fine gold and has a gold content of 3.11 grams.
In 1982, the Royal Canadian Mint released a few sets of Canadian Maple Leaf brass die trials that were gold plated in the 5 denominations mentioned above that were uniface with reeded edges. They were incased in lucite and distributed to a few Canadian and International bullion dealers. To date, none of the gold plated specimen die trials have been certified. It is unknown whether the brass die trials with plain edges were part of the testing done by the Royal Canadian Mint as they struck the gold plated die trials with reeded edges or whether the brass specimens were a separate trial test.