All denominations of currency and banknotes weren’t in real circulation in Barbados until after its Independence in 1966, even though notes had been previously introduced to the island.
It was on 3 December 1973, the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) introduced denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars.
Did you know? The 1 dollar note was never reissued; the 2 dollar note was introduced in 1980, instead.
On 2 May 2013, the CBB issued a new series of Barbadian banknotes, with a more modern design and color scheme.
Note: All notes issued by the CBB from 1973 to present are still accepted island-wide.
According to the CBB, the basic design of Barbadian banknotes is uniform:
— The denomination in numerals and words
— A unique serial number
— The words’ Central Bank of Barbados.’
— The national Coat of Arms, a broken trident, and map of Barbados
— Raised numerical ‘dots.’
— The signature of the Governor in the office at the time of printing
— The official launch date of the new series.
The front of all notes features the portrait of a notable Barbadian who has made a significant contribution to the island’s history and development, as well as a vignette on the back linked to the featured person.
Note: The older ‘family’ of banknotes feature a scene of the Parliament Buildings and the Careenage.
Banknotes currently in circulation in Barbados are:
Design Features Of The $10 Bill – Reddish-brown with green elements, Barbadian $10 notes feature the image of the Right Excellent Charles Duncan O’Neal.
Design Features Of The $10 Bill
Reddish-brown with green details, Barbadian $10 notes feature the icon of the Right Excellent Charles Duncan O’Neal.
The front of the $10 bill features the national Coat of Arms, a broken trident, a map of Barbados, and the signature of the Governor in the office at the time of printing.
Note: Newer $10 bills are printed with an electrotype featuring the image of a broken trident.
Charles Duncan O’Neal
Known as the ‘social transformer,’ Charles Duncan O’Neal (1879 – 1936) is remembered for dedicating his life to fighting the deep-seated racism in Barbados during the 1920s and 1930s.
Charles Duncan O’Neal’s many achievements include the creation of an extensive network of grass-roots organizations, all promoting a message of social change and political consciousness.
He founded the Democratic League in 1924, and in 1932 won a seat in the Barbados House of Assembly as a Member for Bridgetown.
In 1998, by an act of Parliament, Charles Duncan O’Neal was publicly honored by being named as one of the ten official National Heroes of Barbados.
Barbados Coat of Arms
Barbados’ national Coat of Arms carries the motto ‘Pride and Industry’ and is a symbol of strength, pride, and integrity. It was presented to the President of the Senate by her Majesty, the Queen, during a Royal Visit to the island. It was officially adopted in 1966, the same year Barbados declared its Independence.
Barbadian $10 notes display the image of a broken trident, which also features the Barbadian national flag. It symbolizes Barbados’ break from Britain’s colonial rule; the three trident prongs are said to represent the three principles of democracy.
There are three raised dots to equal $10 on the top left-hand corner of the $10 bill to help the visually impaired identify the denomination.
On the back of the note is a vignette of the Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge, which connects the central area of Bridgetown to the south coast of the island. It is one of the two main bridges over the Careenage in the nation’s capital.
New Security Features
There are also updated security features on the newer ‘family’ of Barbadian banknotes.
On the $10 bill, these include:
— Watermarks of both Charles Duncan O’Neal and the number ’10’, when held up to the light.
— The broken trident becomes tinted with brown when held up to the sun.
— A wave-like ‘thread’ that becomes a complete line when the note is held up to the light.
— Ahidden number ’10’, seen at certain angles.
— UV reactive ink and invisible fibers which glow under UV light.
Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow their businesses online with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.