The decade from 1990 to 1999 was a period of change of the annual proof set. This time period saw the packaging redesign of the standard set, the emergence of the Silver Proof Set, and the launch of the State Quarters program. The annual set issued at the beginning of the decade was much different than the one issued to close out the period.
From 1990 to 1993, the proof sets carried over the same purple color scheme from the late 1980’s. Starting with 1994, the color was changed to a much more pleasing green. The other aspects of the packaging remained the same until 1999 when a major redesign would take place.
In 1992, the US Mint introduced the Silver Proof Set. This set contained 90% silver proof versions of the coins that had been traditionally struck in “coin silver”. This included the half dollar, quarter, and dime. The remaining coins were struck with their standard compositions. This new product added a new issue to three coin series for date and mint mark collectors, and a new product for proof set collectors.
The most dramatic change to the proof set occurred with the 1999 Proof Set. This year was the launch of the innovative 50 State Quarters Program which released a different quarter design five times per year to represent each state. This boosted the number of coins in the annual proof set from five coins to nine. The packaging was completely redesigned, placing the five quarters in a separate lens, and the two lenses in a box designed with a Statue of Liberty motif.