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350th Anniversary of the Bridgetown Synagogue (2004)

  • Central Bank Of Barbados
  • 31 Dec,2004
  • 40
  • Numismatics,
  • Print

The Jewish Synagogue was established in 1654 at Synagogue Lane, Bridgetown. The present building was opened in 1833 (after the original was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831) and was restored in 1987. The building and its attached graveyard represent one of the most historic structures on the island.

The congregation, comprising Spanish and Portuguese Jews played an intricate part in the development of our island. The introduction of sugar brought from Recife, Brazil, was one of those contributions. Swan Street, also known as Jew Street was where many of them lived and conducted their businesses.

The Synagogue, which contains an elegant blend of Jewish, Gothic, Renaissance and Barbadian architectural features, stands amid the tombstones of the first major North American – Caribbean Jewish communities.


The obverse of the coin carries the inscription “350th Anniversary of the Bridgetown Synagogue”. In addition, the coin features a   rum barrel in the centre with the initial MTon the top of the barrel. This 18th Century coin, which was used as currency, was minted by the Jewish merchant, Joseph Tolanto, who is also credited with the design of the coin.

The reverse features Barbados’ Coat of Arms  . The central element of this official emblem is a shield supported by a dolphin and a pelican, symbols of the island’s fishing industry. Two Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) flowers and one of the island’s Bearded Fig Trees (ficus Citrifolia) are depicted on the shield. Above the shied is a crest consisting of a raised forearm holding crossed sugar cane stalks above a helmet and mantling. A ribbon bears the inscription PRIDE AND INDUSTRY, the national motto.


Denomination:  $50

Alloy:   916.7 gold (22 carat)

Diameter:  28.40mm

Weight:  15.976g

Shape:   Round

Finish:  Proof with frosted relief

Issue Limit:  100 (100 minted)

Mint:  Royal Mint, London

Price:  $1,000.00


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