Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. Barbados was inhabited by the Kalinago and Amerindian people since the 13th century. In the 15th century, the Spanish claimed the island f the Crown of Castille. The Portuguese Empire briefly occupied the island in the 16th century. British settlers colonized the island in 1625 and settled by 1627. Barbados became a British colony that operated on a plantation economy. Slavery was phased out in 1833 but many of the descendants stayed on the island. Barbados gained independence in 1966.
Like many British Eastern Caribbean territories, the currency of Barbados has undergone many changes. Silver coins of Spanish and Mexican dollars circulated throughout the island until the 19th century. Barbados adopted the pound sterling in 1848 due to an imperial order. British coins circulated in parallel to the Spanish dollars. The international silver crisis of 1873 resulted in the demonetization of silver coins.
The British West Indies dollar was introduced in 1949. The British sterling coins were replaced by a new decimal coinage in 1955. In 1965, the British West Indies dollar was replaced by the Eastern Caribbean dollar. The Barbados dollar replaced the East Caribbean dollar at par in 1973.
In the first year of adopting the Barbadian dollar, coins were introduced in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and 1 dollar. From 1973 to 1991, the 1 cent coin was made of bronze. However, from 1992 onwards it was struck on copper-plated zinc. The 5-cent coin was struck in brass while the remaining denominations were made of cupro-nickel.
A new series of standard circulation coins were introduced in 2007. These coins were struck at the Royal Canadian Mint and featured the national coat of arms. The 1-cent coin was made of copper-plated steel and featured a trident. The 5-cent coin was made of brass-plated steel and featured the South Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in Barbados. The remaining coins—10 cents, 25 cents, and 1 dollar—were made of nickel-plated steel. The 10-cent coin featured a laughing gull. The 25-cent coin featured the Morgan Lewis windmill. And the 1-dollar coin featured a flying fish.