The two coin set of Sesquicentennial coins was authorized by Congress on 23 March, 1925. Unlike the recently completed 1922 Grant Memorial commemorative, the design on the gold coin was not just a scaled down version of the design from the silver half dollar.
The act that authorized the coin set the total mintage of the $2½ gold piece at 200,000 pieces. Eventually 200,226 pieces were minted (226 held for assay). However nowhere near this many were sold and at the end of the program 150,207 (just about ¾ of the mintage) were melted, leaving a net distribution of 46,019.
The design of this piece was done by John Sinnock who succeeded George T. Morgan as the Chief Engraver of the Mint in 1925. The rather pedestirian design features Ms. Liberty standing on top of the world with the Torch of Freedom in her right hand and a scroll (supposedly the Declaration of Independence) in her left. Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” arcing along the top rim and “LIBERTY” along the bottom. The dual dates of 1776 and 1926 appear in the fields, with the earlier date towards the bottom of the coin on the left and the latter date just below center on the right side.
The reverse design is dominated by an image of independence hall which fades into the inscription on either side. Arcing along the top edge from 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock is the inscription “SESQUICENTENNIAL•OF AMERICAN•INDEPENDENCE”. There is no dot between “of” & “American” because the halls flagpole intrudes into the inscription. “IN GOD WE TRUST” flanks and is divided by the bell tower. “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is in a straight line beneath the building and at the bottom rim is the denomination as “2 ½ DOLLARS”. The designers initials; “JRS“ can be seen just above the roof of the hall on the right side.