Although banknotes had already been introduced to Barbados, all denominations of banknotes weren’t in real circulation on the island until after its Independence in 1966.
It was on 3 December 1973, the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) introduced the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 100 dollars.
Did you know? After this time, the 1 dollar note was never issued again. In 1980, the 2 dollar note was introduced, instead.
Then, on 2 May 2013, the CBB issued a new series of Barbadian banknotes, with a more modern design and color scheme.
Note: Despite the introduction of this new ‘family’ of banknotes, 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 linked to the featured person on the back.
Note: The older ‘family’ of banknotes feature a vignette 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 at March 2015.
Design Features Of The $20 Bill
Mauve/purple with orange elements, Barbadian $20 notes bear the image of the Right Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod.
The front of the $20 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 $20 notes are printed with an electrotype bearing the image of the Pride of Barbados, the island’s national flower.
Samuel Jackman Prescod
Samuel Jackman Prescod (1807 – 1871) worked to encourage social consciousness in Barbados, dedicating his life to uniting the masses against the powerful Barbadian white plantocracy.
Known as the ‘defender of human rights‘, Prescod was the first person of African descent to be elected to Barbados’ Parliament (1843).
Did you know? Although the $20 note was redesigned in 1985 and 2000, Prescod’s portrait remains a feature.
Prescod also appeared on $5 notes from 1973 to 1986, and additionally featured on the 1973 Barbadian $1 note.
In 1998, by an act of Parliament, Prescod was named as one of the ten official National Heroes of Barbados, and is also honoured as the namesake for the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) (http://sjpp.edu.bb/).
Barbados Coat of Arms
Barbados’ national Coat of Arms is a symbol of strength, pride, and integrity.
The Coat of Arms carries 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 the same year Barbados declared its Independence, in 1966.
Barbadian $20 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 four raised dots to equal $20 on the top left-hand corner of the $20 bill to help the visually impaired identify the denomination.
On the back of the note is an illustration of Barbados’ Parliament Buildings to commemorate Prescod’s contribution to the politics of the island.
New Security Features
There are also updated security features on the newer ‘family’ of Barbadian banknotes.
On the $20 bill, these include:
— When held up to the light, watermarks of both Samuel Jackman Prescod, as well as the number ’20’.
— The broken trident becomes tinted with pink when the note is held up to the light.
— A colour-shifting ‘thread’ that changes colour from red to green when the note is tilted.
— A hidden number ’20’, only seen at certain angles.
— A UV reactive ink and invisible fluorescent fibres which glow under UV light.
Want To Know More?
For a full visual of the security and design features of the $20 bill, see Central Bank of Barbados‘ website (www.centralbank.org.bb/bank-notes/-20-note-the-right-excellent-samuel-jackman-prescod).
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