The dollar (sign: $; code: BSD) has been the currency of The Bahamas since 1966. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively B$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.
The dollar replaced the pound at a rate of 1 dollar = 7 shillings in 1966. This rate allowed the establishment of parity with the U.S. dollar, due to the sterling/dollar rate then being fixed at £1 = $2.80. To aid in decimalisation, three-dollar bills and fifteen-cent coins were created, as three dollars was roughly equivalent to one pound, and fifteen cents to a shilling, at the time of transition.
In 1966, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 cents, 1 and 2 dollars. The 1 cent was struck in nickel-brass, the 5, 10, and 15 cent in cupronickel, the 25 cent in nickel, and the 50 cent and 1 dollar in silver. The 10 cent was scallop shaped, whilst the 15 cent was square. Silver coins were not issued for circulation after 1966. Bronze replaced nickel-brass in the 1 cent in 1970, followed by brass in 1974 and copper-plated zinc in 1985. In 1989, cupro-nickel 50 cent and 1 dollar coins were issued for circulation, although they did not replace the corresponding banknotes.
The current 1 cent coin is about the size of a U.S. dime, the 5 and 25 cent coins are about the same size as their U.S. counterparts but with different metal compositions. The 15 cent coins are still produced by the Central Bank but are not commonly used. The Bahamas gained independence from Great Britain on 10 July 1973. The effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, which had been employed up to that date, was replaced by the Coat of Arms of the islands on later coinage; all coins now bear the Bahamian Coat of Arms with the words "Commonwealth of The Bahamas" and the date. The reverses of the coins show objects from Bahamian culture with the value of the coins in words. The 1 cent has three starfish, the 5 cent a pineapple, the 10 cent two bonefish, the 15 cent a hibiscus, and the 25 cent a native sloop.