To commemorate the millennium, the Central Bank of Barbados commissioned the production of a unique eight-sided silver five-dollar coin.
Purely symbolic, the commemorative obverse features a controlled yet brightly burning fire whose flames leap through the year 2000. It is a fire that beautifully pictures the passionate spirit of the people of Barbados in the past and that will carry them through the millennium and on into the future. The circular base through which it burns represents not only the island itself but also the circle of unity that and the eternal circle of life.
On the floor of the base is a broken chain portraying freedom from slavery and also Neptune’s trident, alluding to the people’s dependence on and gratitude for the bounty of the sea. Originally complete, the trident had been a national symbol since colonial times but, marking a significant break from the past, its stem was removed following independence in 1966.
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.
Alloy: .925 silver
Shape: Eight sided
Finish: Proof with frosted relief
Issue Limit: 30,000 (500 minted)
Mint: Royal Mint, London