header Notes Collection

1 Dollar 1938, British Barbados

in Krause book Number: 2a
Years of issue: 03.01.1938
Edition: 300 000
Signatures: Commissioners of currency: Mr. George Douglas Owen, Mr. Darnley Erroll Wyndham Gittens
Serie: 1938 - 1943 Issue
Specimen of: 03.01.1938
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 138 x 77
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited, New Malden

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Dollar 1938




Two heads of sea horses.


1 Dollar 1938

HM The King George VI

HM The King George VI.

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George, 14 December 1895 - 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

This portrait of His Majesty is made by photographer Bertram Park (1883-1972) in March 1938, and it is one of the more widely used images of The King.

I found this image here "Stamp Community Family". The portrait on banknote is, probably, taken from this photo session. Reliable sources say, that the photo shoot was dated March 1938. However, there are notes with this portrait, issued earlier then March 1938. From this I conclude, that the photo shoot was held earlier and released to the public only in March 1938.

emblem british barbados

On the left side is the colonial badge of Barbados.

In the 19th century, about 1880, a badge was designed for the colony. This was based on the first as well as on the second seal in that the ruler in the seahorse-drawn car became a crowned queen with orb and trident, forcibly representing Queen Victoria.

In the course of time the image changed. More precisely, the crowned person with a trident represented as current monarch. This option is the last option of colonial emblem, where the image is adapted to His Majesty The King George VI.

Denominations in numerals are centered and in top left corner, in words centered.


1 Dollar 1938

Stylized pattern.

An inscription "GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS" is top, in the middle.

Denominations in words are on the right and left sides.


The history of currency in the British colony of Barbados closely follows that of British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. Even though Queen Anne's proclamation of 1704 brought the gold standard to the West Indies, silver pieces of eight (Spanish dollars and later Mexican dollars) continued to form a major portion of the circulating currency right into the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Britain adopted the gold standard in 1821 and an imperial order-in-council of 1838 resulted in Barbados formally adopting the British sterling coinage in the year 1848. However, despite the circulation of British coins in Barbados the silver pieces of eight continued to circulate alongside them and the private sector continued to use dollar accounts for reckoning. The international silver crisis of 1873 signalled the end of the silver dollar era in the West Indies and silver dollars were demonetized in Barbados in 1879. This left a state of affairs, in which the British coinage circulated, being reckoned in dollar accounts at an automatic conversion rate of 1 dollar = 4 shillings 2 pence. The first currency denominated in dollars to be issued in Barbados was in the form of private banknotes introduced in 1882. No subdivisions of the dollar were issued and these notes circulated alongside sterling, together with 1 pound notes issued by the government in 1917. From 1920, some of the private banknotes also carried a denomination in sterling, with 1 dollar = 4 shillings 2 pence.

From 1949, with the introduction of the British West Indies dollar, the currency of Barbados became officially tied with those of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. Between 1938 and 1949, the Barbados government issued paper money denominated in dollars. The last private bank issues were made in 1949. The British sterling coinage was eventually replaced by a new decimal coinage in 1955, with the new cent being equal to one half of the old penny. In 1965, the East Caribbean dollar replaced the British West Indies dollar in Barbados.

The present dollar was created after the establishment of the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB), which was founded by an Act of parliament in May, 1972.