All denominations of banknotes weren’t in real circulation in Barbados until after the island’s Independence in 1966.
It was on 3 December 1973 that the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) introduced notes with the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars.
Did you know? The 1 dollar note was never reissued, and 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: Despite this, 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 Barbadian banknotes features a portrait of a notable Barbadian who has made a significant contribution to the island’s history and development. On the back, they also depict a vignette 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:
Known for being the first black cricketer to captain the West Indies cricket team, Worrell was knighted in 1964 for his services to cricket; the second West Indian cricketer to be honored with such a title.
Barbados Coat of Arms
Barbados’ national Coat of Arms carries the motto ‘Pride and Industry.’
It is a symbol of national strength, pride, and integrity, and was presented to the President of the Senate by herMajesty the Queen during a Royal Visit to Barbados.
It was officially adopted in 1966, the same year Barbados declared its Independence from Britain.
It symbolizes Barbados’ break from Britain’s colonial rule; the three trident prongs are said to represent the three principles of democracy.
There are two raised dots to equal $5 on the top left-hand corner of the $5 bill to help the visually impaired identify the denomination.
The back of the $5 note features an illustration of the 3Ws Oval, located at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. It is named in honor of cricket legends Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Everton Weekes, and Sir Clyde Walcott (hence the 3 ‘W’s’).
New Security Features
There are also updated security features on the newer ‘family’ of Barbadian banknotes.
On the $5 bill, these include:
— Watermarks of both Sir Frank Worrell and the number ‘5’, when the note is held up to the light.
— When held up to the sun, thebroken trident becomes tinted with blue.
— A wave-like ‘thread’ that becomes a complete line when the note is held up to the light.
— A hidden number ‘5’, seen at certain angles.
— UV reactive ink and invisible fibers that 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.