It wasn’t until after Barbados’ Independence in 1966 that banknotes of all denominations were in real circulation on the island.
On 3 December 1973, the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) introduced banknotes for 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars.
Did you know? The 1 dollar note was not reissued. In 1980, the 2 dollar note was introduced 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 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 linked to the featured person on the back.
Note: Older banknotes feature a scene of the Parliament Buildings and the Careenage.
Banknotes currently in circulation in Barbados are:
— 2 dollars (blue)
— 5 dollars (green)
— 10 dollars (brown)
— 20 dollars (purple)
— 50 dollars (orange)
— 100 dollars (grey)
Note: Information accurate as of March 2015.
Design Features Of The $100 Bill
Grey, blue, and red, Barbadian $100 notes bear the image of the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams.
The front of the $100 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 $100 bills are printed with an electrotype bearing the image of the Pride of Barbados, the island’s national flower.
The Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams
Sir Grantley Adams (1898 – 1971) was most notably a Barbadian and British West Indian statesman, founder of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), and the first Premier of Barbados.
A visionary politician, Adams, is associated with many significant pieces of legislation that set the stage for social change in Barbados.
In 1998, by an act of Parliament, Adams was publicly named as one of the ten official National Heroes of Barbados, for his contribution to the island’s history and development.
Barbados Coat of Arms
Barbados’ national Coat of Arms is a symbol of strength, pride, and integrity.
The Coat of Arms carried the motto ‘Pride and Industry’ and 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.
A popular game fish and a staple of Barbadian cuisine, the dolphin, is symbolic of the once-thriving fishing industry, which remains a significant source of income for many Barbadians.
Did you know? It also appears on the national Coat of Arms.
Barbadian $100 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 six raised dots to equal $100 on the top left-hand corner of the $100 bill to help the visually impaired identify it as the highest denomination.
On the back of the note is an illustration of Barbados’ only airport, Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) (www.gaia.bb), named in honor of Barbados’ beloved ‘father of democracy.’
New Security Features
There are also updated security features on the newer ‘family’ of Barbadian banknotes.
On the $100 bill, these include:
— When held up to the light, watermarks of both Grantley Adams, as well as the number ‘100’.
— The broken trident becomes tinted with grey when the note is held up to the light.
— A color-shifting ‘thread’ that changes color from red to green when the bill is tilted.
— A hidden number ‘100’, only seen at certain angles.
— A UV reactive ink and invisible fluorescent fibers which glow under UV light.
— Hologram features.
Want To Know More?
For a full visual of the security and design features of the $100 bill, see Central Bank of Barbados’ website (www.centralbank.org.bb/bank-notes/-100-note-the-right-excellent-sir-grantley-adams).
For more highlights 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).
By: Brett Callaghan
Last Updated: April 28th, 2020
Publisher: Totally Barbados