All denominations of currency and banknotes weren’t in real circulation in Barbados until after its Independence in 1966, even though banknotes 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 issued again; 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 in 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 office at the time of printing
— The official launch date of the new series.
The front of all notes feature 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 vignette of the Parliament Buildings and the Careenage.
Barbadian banknotes currently in circulation are:
— 2 dollars (blue)
— 5 dollars (green)
— 10 dollars (brown)
— 20 dollars (purple)
— 50 dollars (orange)
— 100 dollars (grey).
Note: Information accurate as at March 2015.
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.
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 office at time of printing.
Note: Newer $10 notes 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 a wide network of grass-root 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 honoured 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 on 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 main 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 light.
— A wave-like ‘thread’ that becomes a complete line when the note is held up to the light.
— A hidden number ’10’, seen at certain angles.
— UV reactive ink and invisible fibres which glow under UV light.
Want To Know More?
For a full visual of the security and design features of the $10 bill, see Central Bank of Barbados‘ website (www.centralbank.org.bb/bank-notes/-10-note-the-right-excellent-charles-duncan-oneal).
For more features of Barbadian currency, also check out the Central Bank of Barbados’ website (www.centralbank.org.bb/bank-notes/new-family-of-banknotes-the-2013-series).
Author: Brett Callaghan