Money tells a lot about a country and its people. The currency of Barbados is no exception. Robust, stable, and secure, the Barbados dollar has been pegged to the US dollar at 1.98 to 1 since 1975.
A British colony, Barbados, was strongly influenced by British coinage and monetary policy. Nevertheless, Spanish and Mexican currency was widely circulated in former times.
1949 rang in the introduction of the British West Indies dollar officially linking Barbados with the British Eastern Caribbean territories later replaced by the East Caribbean dollar (1965).
The Barbados dollar – created after the establishment of the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) – replaced the East Caribbean dollar in 1973 and is still used today.
Barbados’ unit of currency is the dollar, which is divided into one hundred cents. Coinage is available in 1, 5, 10, and 25 cent pieces. There is also a 1 dollar coin.
Most Barbadian coins are struck at the Royal Canadian Mint.
The 1 cent coin is struck in copper-plated zinc and features a replica of a broken trident; 5 cent pieces, struck in brass, display an image of the South Point Lighthouse while 10, 25 cents and 1 dollar coins are struck in cupro-nickel featuring a tern, the Morgan Lewis Windmill and a flying fish respectively.
The reverse side of each coin displays the Barbados Coat of Arms and the year the coin was minted.
Banknotes come in colorful denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar notes. Easily identifiable, each note features the portrait of a prominent Barbadian figure: