New banknotes in circulation

EXCITED BY MONEY: Members of staff of the Central Bank of Barbados were the first to get their hands on the new bank notes today.
Members of staff of the Central Bank of Barbados were the first to get their hands on the new bank notes today.

Barbados’ new-look banknotes, the first design change since 1973, went into circulation today. The Central Bank first unveiled the new designs last month, explaining that the new notes will have more advanced security features and a design that reflects Barbados’ status as a modern nation.

“As a symbol of our new status, we have introduced notes that are as modern as the latest technology can make them. These notes are our declaration of intent; we recognise that, having reached this advanced level of human development, we must cross swords with the best in the world and prevail, in order to maintain our forward momentum.

“That is why we have spared no effort in making our new notes the best they can be. The design is appealing, yet classy, the security features incorporate the most up-to-date technologies,” Governor Dr. DeLisle Worrell commented.

All denominations have retained their colour and the portraits on the front are unchanged.

Overall, though, the notes have a new look and feel. The backs of the notes now feature six different images, each linked to the portrait on the front. For John Redman Bovell, a pioneer of the sugar industry, the $2 has a vignette of Morgan Lewis Windmill.

The $5, which has the portrait of former West Indies cricket captain, Sir Frank Worrell, has 3Ws Oval, and the $10 portrays Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge. In honour of Samuel Jackman Prescod, the first coloured man in the House of Assembly, the $20 bears a vignette of one of the Parliament buildings.

The $50 depicts Independence Square, including the statue of the Errol Barrow; and the $100 honours Sir Grantley Adams with a view of the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Raised marks to help the visually impaired identify the different denominations have now been placed on the top left of the note: one dot represents the $2 note, two dots the $5, three dots the $10, and so on.

The map of Barbados watermark, which has been found on all denominations since 1973, has been replaced by six distinct watermarks — the image of the person featured on that denomination’s portrait. Below the main watermark is a second, smaller one that shows the note’s value in numbers. Both watermarks can be seen on the left side of the note when it is held up to the light.

The security thread on the lower denominations — $2, $5 and $10 — remains the same wave-like silver line that is on current banknotes, but the $20, $50 and $100 have a new wide thread that changes from red to green when the note is tilted.

Both types of thread weave in and out of the paper and have “CBB” and the denomination printed on them. For all denominations, when the note is held up to the light, the thread becomes a complete line from the top to the bottom of the note.

Under ultraviolet light, the waves in the centre of the $2, $5 and $10 glow and tiny fibres spread throughout the note fluoresce blue-yellow-blue. On the $20, $50 and $100, the waves fluoresce two different colours — pink and green on the $20, green and yellow on the $50, and yellow and green on the $100 — and tiny fibres glow pink.

On the right side of the two highest denominations, holograms have replaced the foil patches that were used previously. On the $50, the dominant image is the pelican, while on the $100, the principal image is the heraldic dolphin. Both denominations feature broken tridents, Pride of Barbados flowers and the note’s denomination as background images.

Despite the introduction of the new notes, Barbadians can continue to use banknotes from previous series. “Older notes will remain in circulation. They are legal tender, so banks, supermarkets, stores — everyone can and should continue to accept them,” explained Deputy Director for Currency Octavia Gibson.

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