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Barbados Currency Spotlight: Barbadian Dollar

In Business and Currency by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Barbados is more than just a great tourist destination. The country boasts one of the most diverse economies in the Caribbean. Because Barbadian currency is tied to the US dollar, if you need to buy Barbadian dollars it is important to keep an eye on both currencies.

Fast Facts: 

  • Barbadian dollar Symbol: Bds$
  • Barbadian dollar Currency Code: BBD
  • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25 cents, $1
  • Barbadian dollar Banknotes: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 100 dollars
  • Barbados GDP (nominal): $4.490 billion
  • Central Bank: Central Bank of Barbados

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History of Barbadian Currency

Similar to other places in the British Eastern Caribbean, Spanish dollars were widely used despite Queen Anne’s proclamation of 1704 which officially brought the gold standard to the West Indies. British sterling was introduced in 1848 but the prevalence of Spanish dollars was not diminished. After the silver crisis of 1873, Mexican and Spanish silver coins were valued in British pounds at a rate of 1 dollar to 4 shillings and twopence.

In 1949 the British West Indies dollar was introduced, and in 1965 the East Caribbean dollar replaced the West Indies dollar. The Central Bank of Barbados was founded in 1972 and a year later the Barbadian dollar replaced the East Caribbean dollar at equal value. Two years later in 1975 the Barbadian dollar was pegged to the US dollar at a rate of  US$1 to Bds$2.

Barbadian Notes and Coins

Coins are minted in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 dollar. The $1 coin is a 7 sided piece with a flying fish on one side and the Barbadian coat of arms on the reverse. Most current coins in circulation were minted on behalf of Barbados by the Royal Canadian mint.

The Royal Bank of Canada introduced notes in 1909 in denominations of 5, 20 and 100 dollars with the value in sterling printed on the side (5 dollars = 1 pound 10 pence). In 1973 the Central Bank of Barbados introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars, but the $1 note was soon discontinued and the $2 note introduced.  

Denomination Colour
$2 Blue
$5 Green
$10 Brown
$20 Purple
$50 Orange
$100 Grey

Value of the Barbadian Dollar

The Barbadian dollar is now pegged to the USD at a rate of US$1 to Bds$2.

1 CAD is currently (11AM, Feb 19 2016) valued at 1.4463 BBD

BBD CAD graph rate watch 5 years

BBD to 1 CAD over the past 5 years (courtesy of Rate Watch)

Economy of Barbados

Barbados has a well developed mixed economy. Sugarcane once provided the backbone of the economy but manufacturing and tourism have both grown significantly over the last 30 years. Offshore finance and information technology have also grown in recent years. In 2003 Barbados was one of Canada’s top 5 destinations for foreign capital. Generally the economy is considered well run, diverse and fiscally sound.

barbados map coins money

Final Thoughts

Barbados has a relatively strong currency and a diverse economy. The future looks bright for both the Barbadian dollar and the country as a whole.

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Buy your Barbadian dollars now!

Whether you need to buy Barbadian dollar or one of many other currencies, we’ve got you covered with FXtoGO! You can also track the exchange rate of your favourite currency with Rate Watch.

For a broader understanding of Barbadian history and culture check out our Country of the Week profile. For information about traveling to Barbados then be sure to follow our Travel Guide.

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