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 issued again 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 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 Barbadian banknotes feature 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 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 $5 Bill
Green with brown elements, Barbadian $5 notes feature a portrait of Sir Frank Worrell.
The front of the $5 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 $5 notes are printed with an electrotype featuring the image of a broken trident.
Did you know? It was in fact Samuel Jackman Prescod who first appeared on Barbadian $5 notes from 1973 to 1986.
Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell (1924 – 1967), fondly referred to as ‘Tae’, was a West Indies cricketer, Barbadian sportsman, and Jamaican senator.
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 honoured 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 her Majesty the Queen during a Royal Visit to Barbados.
It was officially adopted in 1966, the same year Barbados declared its Independence from Britain.
Barbadian $5 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 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, and is named in honour 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 light, the broken 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 fibres that glow under UV light.
Want To Know More?
For a full visual of the security and design features of the $5 bill, see Central Bank of Barbados’ website (www.centralbank.org.bb/bank-notes/-5-note-sir-frank-worrell).
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