Producers of fake Barbados money should not be smiling all the way to the bank anytime soon.
On the heels of what it said was “an increase in counterfeit activity in 2012”, the Central Bank of Barbados has unveiled the island’s first new banknotes in 40 years.
From June 4 the phrase new money will take on a whole new meaning, not just for Barbadian consumers and businesses, but bank officials also believe it will mean a bigger headache for counterfeiters.
Central Bank of Barbados officials and representatives from British-based currency printer De La Rue officially introduced the new notes this morning at the Grande Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre, saying they carried advanced security features within a modern design that was in the making for the last three years.
“There was an increase in counterfeit activity in 2012, but the level of counterfeiting is still quite low as compared to other countries. The development of the new series was already underway when the increase occurred, and the upgraded security features on these notes should make them even more difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce,” the bank said.
Governor Dr. DeLisle Worrell said while the personalities featured and the value of the notes remained the same, and the general look of the money was familiar, the notes were “as modern as the latest technology can make them” with an emphasis on making life harder for counterfeiters and easier for the public.
“Our mandate to our banknote printer, De La Rue, was to provide us with a secure, user-friendly series and we are happy that we have accomp
lished this,” the economist said.
“The new notes have a contemporary layout and design that mirrors our status as a modern nation, but that at the same time honors our history and our culture. We’ve added tactile marks for the blind so that they will now be able to identify the different denominations without assistance,” he added.
De La Rue Sales Director Ruth Euling said the end result of the first new Barbados banknotes since 1973 included security upgrades and a “significant change to the look and feel of the notes”.
“The notes are safer too, incorporating state of the art technology to protect against the ever present counterfeiting and that is obviously that De La Rue is very aware of in our business,” she said.
“Why do we have to protect against counterfeiting? So that the public can have complete confidence for their use in day to day transactions. The security features that we have included include holography, changing threads, and inks, features for the visually impaired and other elements that make it difficult to counterfeit but very easy for everyone to use, especially the public and those behind the counter to verify.
“These designs have been a long time in coming … and we hope you agree they have been worth the wait. We are incredibly proud to have been involved in development of the new series and we very much hope that the public will enjoy and admire them. A modern design with state of the art security for a modern and progressive Barbados.”
Central Bank officials said next month’s introduction of the new notes did not mean old ones would be withdrawn since the old money was still legal tender and would be eventually phased out.
As is currently the case, the individuals on the notes are John Redman Bovell ($2), Sir Frank Worrell ($5), Charles Duncan O’Neal ($10), Samuel Jackman Prescod ($20), Errol Barrow ($50), and Sir Grantley Adams ($100).
The Central Bank explained that bold waves now made up the base of the newly designed banknotes, which also included images of the Coat of Arms, the Broken Trident, map of Barbados, and portraits of the named individuals. The bank of the notes will now feature six different images associated with the portraits, namely Morgan Lewis Windmill ($2), UWI’s 3Ws Oval ($5), Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge ($10), Parliament Buildings ($20), Barrow’s Statute at Independence Square ($50), and the Grantley Adams International Airport ($100). (SC)