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Bahamian dollar
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Bahamian dollar

The Bahamas' national currency is the Bahamian dollar ($B). The dollar is pegged to the US dollar on a one-to-one basis.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas states that it uses reserve requirements, changes in the Bank discount rate and selective credit controls, supplemented by moral suasion as main instruments of monetary policy, the objective of which is to keep stable conditions, including credit, in order to maintain the parity between the $US and the $B while allowing economic development to proceed.

Although the US dollar (as any other foreign currency) is subject to exchange control laws in The Bahamas, the parity between $B and $US means that any business will accept either US or Bahamian currency and many of the businesses that serve tourists have extra $US on hand for the convenience of the US tourists (who are picky about receiving their change in $US since most are on short visits or are skeptical about the value of any money not printed in dark green ink).

Banknotes and Coins

The current (June 2003) banknotes and coins issued by the Central Bank are:

Coins

1-cent, 5-cents, 10-cents, 15-cents(rare), 25-cents

The 1-cent, 5-cents, and 25-cents coins are about the same size as their US counterparts, but with differences in metal composition. The 10-cents and 15-cents pieces are more exotic, the 10-cents piece having scallop-like smooth ridges on its circumference and the 15-cents piece being square with rounded corners. All coins bear the Bahamian Coat-of-Arms on one side with the words "Commonwealth of The Bahamas" forming a crown around the Coat-of-Arms and the year of issue beneath the Coat-of-Arms. The flip side of the coins show objects from Bahamian culture with the value of the coins in words. The 1-cent has a starfish, the 5-cents a pineapple, the 10-cents two bone-fish, the 15-cents a Hibiscus, and the 25-cents a native sloop.

Notes

$1/2(rare), $1, $3(rare), $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

The dollar has undergone several revisions in the last twenty years, one of the more notable being an extremely colourful redesign in celebration of the quincentanial celebrations of the 'discovery' of The Bahamas (and by extension the west) by Christopher Columbus when he landed on an island he dubbed San Salvador.

All banknotes have been undergoing design changes to foil forgery in recent years although the notes implemented more stringent security long before the US's recent redesign of their notes. Note: All banknotes are the same physical size, like the US dollar but unlike the euro.

Until a few years ago all notes displayed a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (state figurehead) but notes are now displaying portraits of prominent Bahamian politicians who have passed away. The $1/2 shows an older Queen Elizabeth II and the back shows a picture of Sister Sarah in the Nassau Straw Market, the $1 shows Sir Lynden Pindling and on the back shows the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band., the $3 - young Queen Elizabeth II and on the back shows a Family Island Regatta with native sloops, the $5 - Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield and the back shows a Junkanoo group 'rushing' in the Junkanoo parade, the $10 - Sir Roland Symonette, the $20 - Sir Milo Butler, the $50 - Sir Stafford Sands and the back shows the Hope Town Lighthouse and settlement in Abaco, the $100 - an older Queen Elizabeth II and the back shows a jumping blue marlin, national fish of The Bahamas.

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