The Central Bank of The Bahamas is the government's official arm that monitors and regulates the country's financial institutions. The bank was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in February, 1975. The Bahamian currency consists of colorful bank notes, uniquely shaped coins and denominations - a square fifty cent piece; a three-dollar and half-dollar bank notes. Souvenirs that are popular with many visitors to The Bahamas. They can be requested from any of the local banks. The Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar and all merchants accepts the U.S. currency, however, other currencies must be exchanged at the local banks. The Central Bank of The Bahamas is the venue of many local arts and craft exhibitions which are opened for public viewing (usually free of charge).