Cracking down on counterfeit

The introduction of the new series of banknotes was motivated by the Central Bank of Barbados’ commitment to its counterfeiting deterrence efforts.

The bank explained that while it was still confident that older banknotes had enough security features to protect those who checked their notes, the organisation had a policy of reviewing the security features on local banknotes every five to seven years, which is in keeping with industry best practice.

The new notes that will go into circulation on June 4 will therefore feature not only a new design, but also very modern and up-to-date security features.

The specific features chosen were based largely on two factors: the types of security features most used by the public to authenticate their notes and developments in anti-counterfeiting technology.

Octavia Gibson, Deputy Director of Currency gave two examples of how these factors influenced the choice of security features for the new series.

“Most Barbadians are familiar with the watermark on our current banknotes — the map of Barbados — and use this feature to authenticate their notes,” Gibson explained.

“For the 2013 series notes, the bank wanted to keep this type of security feature but at the same time upgrade it. Instead of a single watermark for all denominations, we incorporated six different images. Because we understood it would be a challenge for the public to remember multiple watermarks, we made the watermark the same as the portrait. So Sir Grantley on the right, the ghost image of Sir Grantley on the left.”

Gibson also described another major change to the security features on the new notes.

“Since foil patches were first introduced on Barbados’ two highest denominations, there has been a great deal of advancement in the banknote printing industry. So for the 2013 series, these patches have been upgraded to holograms, she explained.

“Instead of simply catching the light when the notes are tilted, the images on the hologram shift, change colour, and take on a three-dimensional appearance.”

Prior to the new series, the most recent upgrades were done in 2007.

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