Queen Elizabeth's Royal Signature Appears on Coin for First Time: See the 'Understated' New Design

·2 min read
Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square on October 27, 2016 in Poundbury, Dorset. Queen Elizabeth signature coin
Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square on October 27, 2016 in Poundbury, Dorset. Queen Elizabeth signature coin

Samir Hussein/WireImage; The Royal Mint

Queen Elizabeth's image is printed on currency around the world, but a new collection of coins features the monarch's signature for the first time.

To celebrate the Queen's service during her Platinum Jubilee year, marking 70 years on the throne, the Royal Mint used her famous "Elizabeth R." signature on three £5 denomination coins.

"I began thinking about how her hands are such an important thing — she is always shaking hands, using them to carry out symbolic tasks like presenting awards, planting trees or unveiling plaques," designer P.J. Lynch said, according to The Telegraph. "It is how she communicates with hundreds, if not thousands, of people at once."

The Irish artist added, "It led me to consider her signature, which is so symbolic, an instrument of state when she signs official documents, but also her personal promise and commitment."

RELATED: Queen Elizabeth Skips Traditional Welcome Event at Her Scottish Castle for 'Reasons of Comfort'

Queen Elizabeth signature coins
Queen Elizabeth signature coins

The Royal Mint

Although Lynch initially envisioned the Queen signing a document for the coins' image, he simplified the design to be based on her signature.

"The more I looked at it, the signature was what was most important. I could see that if I focused on that, everything else could be simpler," he explained. "It is ironic, yet understated: Elizabeth R. Nothing else is needed to explain who that is, it stands for so much on its own."

The new collection has three different designs: one focuses on the monarch's awards and honors, a second celebrates her charitable work and the third honors the Commonwealth.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II signs a guestbook during a visit to officially open the new building of Thames Hospice in Maidenhead, Berkshire, on July 15, 2022.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II signs a guestbook during a visit to officially open the new building of Thames Hospice in Maidenhead, Berkshire, on July 15, 2022.

KIRSTY O'CONNOR/POOL/AFP via Getty Queen Elizabeth

The Queen's signature has graced official documents and guest books around the world — and she even signed her first Twitter and Instagram posts with "Elizabeth R."

The "R" stands for "regina," which translates to queen in Latin. For a king, the "R" would stand for the Latin word "rex." The tradition of signing off with the initial dates back through centuries of British monarchs.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate MiddletonMeghan Markle and more! 

Also in honor of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, a commemorative 50p coin was released by the Royal Mint in January. In addition to featuring her insignia and the years of her reign, one coin featured the monarch on horseback.

The Queen was given her first horse (a Shetland pony) when she was just 4 years old. In addition to riding for fun, she would often be on horseback for events like Trooping the Colour — the public celebration of the monarch's birthday. The coin appeared to depict the Queen on such an occasion, given the hat with a feather that can be seen.