Although banknotes were previously introduced, it wasn’t until after the island’s Independence in 1966 that all denominations of notes were in real circulation in Barbados.
On 3 December 1973, the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) introduced notes with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars.
Did you know? The 1 dollar note was never reissued. Instead, in 1980, the 2 dollar note was introduced.
The 50 dollar bill was not introduced in Barbados until 1989.
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 $50 Bill
Orange with blue-green elements, Barbadian $50 notes bear the image of the Right Excellent Errol Barrow.
The front of the $50 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 $50 bills are printed with an electrotype bearing the image of the Pride of Barbados, the island’s national flower.
Errol Barrow (1920 – 1987) is fondly remembered as Barbados’ ‘father of Independence and social transformation.’
Errol Barrow’s life is full of accomplishments – most notably, becoming Barbados’ first Prime Minister.
In 1998, by an act of Parliament, Barrow was also publicly named as one of the ten official National Heroes of Barbados due to his major contribution to the island.
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.
Barbadian $50 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 five raised dots to equal $50 on the top left-hand corner of the $50 bill to help the visually impaired identify the denomination.
On the back of the note is an illustration of Independence Square with the statue of the Errol Barrow, a clear nod to Barbados’ ‘Father of Independence.’
New Security Features
There are also updated security features on the newer ‘family’ of Barbadian banknotes.
On the $50 bill, these include:
— When held up to the light, watermarks of both Errol Barrow, as well as the number ’50’.
— The broken trident becomes tinted with orange 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 ’50’, 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 $50 bill, see Central Bank of Barbados’ website (www.centralbank.org.bb/bank-notes/-50-note-the-right-excellent-errol-barrow).
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