The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) has released one million, painted glow-in-the-dark one-dollar coins from as a tribute to the island’s essential workers amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The coin, which the Central Bank has issued as of Tuesday (December 1), features the same design as regular one-dollar coins, but the flying fish and waves have been painted light blue.
The paint contains a special property that absorbs energy from the sun or other light. Then, when outside is dark, once it has absorbed enough energy, the coin glows.
According to a statement from the Central Bank of Barbados, coin will be the first glow-in-the-dark circulation coin issued in the Caribbean and one of very few in the world.
Out of the one million coins, a few thousand have been specially packaged and are being distributed to some of Barbados’ essential workers, but the vast majority will go into circulation.
Over the next few months, Barbadians will find limited edition coins in their change when they go shopping. Just like regular one-dollar coins the glow-in-the-dark coins can be spent as legal tender, however, but the bank is encouraging people to keep a few as souvenirs.
For people who don’t use cash, they should be able to get one from their commercial bank – and it will only cost a dollar.
The Royal Canadian Mint, which makes Barbados’ coins, has only ever done glow-in-the-dark coins once before for the Caribbean island when it made a special limited-edition Batman collector’s coin.
“This is the first coin of its kind in the Caribbean, so we’re pleased to be able to use it to honour our frontline workers,” said Octavia Gibson, Deputy Director of the bank’s Currency Division. “The fact that it’s a circulation coin makes it even more special because it means that more people will be able to get them.
“We know that because these coins are different, people will want to keep them, and we want them to. We want Barbadians to collect them,” she added.