Barbados – History of Banknotes

In 1882, the Colonial Bank introduced notes for 5 dollars. In 1920, 20 and 100 dollar notes were also issued by this bank. In 1922, Barclays Bank, having taken over the Colonial Bank, began issuing 5, 20 and 100 dollar notes. The higher denominations ceased production in 1940 but the 5 dollar continued to be issued until 1949.

The Royal Bank of Canada introduced notes in 1909, in denominations of 5, 20 and 100 dollars. From 1920, these notes also bore the denomination in sterling, with 5 dollars = 1 pound 10 pence, 20 dollars = 4 pounds 3 shillings 4 pence and 100 dollars = 20 pounds 16 shillings 8 pence. Notes were issued until 1938. The Canadian Bank of Commerce issued notes between 1922 and 1940, also in denominations of 5, 20 and 100 dollars.

Between 1938 and 1949, the government issued notes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 20 and 100 dollars. All bore the portrait of King George VI.

On 3 December 1973, the Central Bank of Barbados introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 100 dollars. The 1 dollar note was not issued again, with 2 dollar notes introduced in 1980, followed by 50 dollars in 1989. Banknotes currently in circulation are:

  • 2 dollars (blue)
  • 5 dollars (green)
  • 10 dollars (brown)
  • 20 dollars (purple)
  • 50 dollars (orange)
  • 100 dollars (grey)

The defunct 1 Dollar note was red in colour and had Samuel Jackman Prescod on the obverse.

On 2 May 2013, the Central Bank of Barbados issued a new series of banknotes with a more modern design. The portraits on all of the denominations have been retained, but on the back of the notes is a design specific to the person depicted on the front of the notes.

People on banknotes

PersonYears of Birth/DeathReason for HonorDenominationObverse or ReverseIn Circulation Since
John Redman Bovell1855-1928Scientist and agronomist credited with saving the sugar industry in Barbados$2Obverse1980
Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell1924-1967Cricket player and senator of Jamaica$5Obverse1973
Charles Duncan O’Neal1879-1936Physician and founder of the Democratic League$10Obverse1973
Samuel Jackman Prescod1806-1871Journalist, Politician, Judge; National Hero of Barbados$20Obverse1973
Errol Walton Barrow1920-19871st Prime Minister of Barbados (1966-1976; 1986-1987)$50Obverse1989
Grantley Herbert Adams1898-19711st Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation (1958-1962); 1st Premier of Barbados (1953-1958)$100Obverse1973

Source wikipedia