Mardi Gras Collectibles

by blackspanielgallery

Mardi Gras collectibles such as doubloons, posters and favors can be collected and displayed in home or office.

Mardi Gras in the New Orleans area has generated its own collectibles. Some of the collectibles are very nice works of art. If a person attends a Mardi Gras parade it is soon that the person is aware that items are thrown to the people watching the parade. These are free to those who catch them. Some are insignificant, such as beads and trinkets that become priceless only to children. Others are keepsakes, and those can sometimes attain a collectable status.

Since 1960 the doubloon has been a collector item. The value of the doubloons thrown from the floats, the aluminum doubloons, often have minimal value with a few exceptions. But others, those not thrown, can have a value, albeit in many cases a nominal value. These are special doubloons, often of bronze, some silvered with silver oxide, and some colorized inro beautiful pieces of art. And these are generally affordable with exceptions.

Collectible Mardi Gras Doubloons

New Orleans Mardi Gras
Bronze Rex Doubloon
Bronze Rex Doubloon
Bronze Rex Doubloon side 2
Bronze Rex Doubloon side 2
Copper Choctaw Doubloon
Copper Choctaw Doubloon
Multicolor Orpheus Doubloon
Multicolor Orpheus Doubloon
Multicolor Bacchus Doubloon
Multicolor Bacchus Doubloon
Niobeans doubloon
Multicolor Bacchus Doubloon
Multicolor Bacchus Doubloon

Collectible Doubloons


Collectible doubloons are collectively called heavies by those who seek them out. 


The bronze, often antique bronze, doubloons are made by many krewes, although there is no requirement as to what a krewe must have in its doubloon minting.  These are usually like the parade doubloons depicting the krewe logo on one side and the parade theme on the other side.  It is common that the year would also appear on the doubloon.  In some cases, copper is used in lieu of bronze.


Silver oxide is often applied to give some heavy doubloons the illusion of being silver.  Of course, they do not command the price of silver, in most cases.  Rarity can drive the price of some doubloons up, but as a general rule even the silver oxide, called oxis, are affordable.


Multicolored doubloons, called multis, are often bronze doubloons that are colorized.  Two methods are used to colorize these doubloons, thin colorized plates are attached to the face of the doubloon.  Others are enameled.  Some have both faces colorized, others have just one side colorized which is usually the krewe logo side.  Some have fixed colors year after year applied to the logo side, others vary the colors annually, and might even have multiple issues for the same year in different color schemes.


Doubloons are also minted by krewes with no parade.  A ball with a theme can serve as the theme depicted on their doubloons.

Silver Doubloons

Many krewes have silver doubloons minted.  Some are an ounce of fine silver, but neither the weight nor the purity is required to meet any standard.

Other Mardi Gras Articles

The artists who design Mardi Gras doubloons do an outstanding job. The art is most obvious on the multicolor doubloons.
Mardi Gras doubloons for a current year can be obtained free from parades. But, there are better, more collectible Mardi Gras doubloons that one should consider collecting.


The parade floats are themselves works of art, and some krewes issue posters depicting their parade floats for a year and perhaps the court of the king, queen, and maids for that year.  These can be framed and displayed as works of art. 


Invitations to krewe balls, including krewes that have no parade, can be quite ornate and collectible.  Some, those from the 1800s and early 1900s, can be quite valuable.  These can be mounted and displayed.


Most beads are bought in volume, and worth little or nothing.  However, beads with a krewe logo, especially those in a clear bags, are good, inexpensive keepsakes, and do have a collector market.


As aluminum has risen in price the chip has become more popular among some krewes.  This keeps production cost down in making a version of the doubloon, and allows multicolored chips to be produced inexpensively to be thrown.  There are only a few krewes currently throwing chips, but the move to having more use them is likely as the cost of aluminum continues to rise.

Plastic Cups

Plastic cups usually have the Krewe’s name and are dated with images reflecting the parade.  These can be collected, but are so plentiful that they become drinking cups by those who frequent parades.  Cups were the inexpensive alternative to doubloons, but they have not totally eliminated doubloons from many krewes.  However, some krewes have abandoned doubloons, or have many members not purchasing doubloons to throw.

Pins and Badges

Pins and badges are designed for members of krewes, and some are worn at krewe functions.  These can range from a multicolored doubloon with a loop to the ornate ducal worn by certain people at a ball.   Usually, these are more expensive than doubloons.



There is no limit what a krewe can use as favors.  Some issue silver plated cups, some issue useful items such as women’s compacts.  Many have the krewe’s initials, such as K of X, leaving collectors to determine which krewe of many with the same initials issued the favor.

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Updated: 02/03/2023, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 02/03/2023

The theme for the parade was represented by Saint George and This Sceptred Isle from Shakespeare's Richard II Act II was from the history, art, mythology, and culture of England, Scotland, and Wales. This is the dragon slayer that represents England mythology, and the saying represents art and culture. This is the image the Krewe of Rex used to depict their theme, and floats usually have titles that fit the theme. Had this been a different doubloon, even from the same organization, the design would be different. Less affluent parades often rent floats from other groups, and may make a few changes, but getting things to match a theme is sometimes a challenge. I would not expect a Rex float to be rented, not poorly altered. Some floats repeat year after year, such as the King float, His majesty's bandwagon, and the one representing the fatted calf representing feasting before Lent. The reason for Mardi Gras is it is the last day of feasting before the somber days of reflecting and penance called Lent.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/03/2023

Should it not be Saint George and the dragon, would there be another cultural precedent -- even as right now I draw no other famous dragon-slayers other than from fiction books and films -- or some interpretation, perhaps known to you, unknown to me, by one of the parade organizations?

blackspanielgallery on 02/03/2023

It would seem to be Saint George. The image on that side of the doubloon normally depicts the parade theme for the year.
The king is image used by Rex, the most known organization that parades on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans. The image has seen updating from time to time. Most organizations have a king, queen, and court consisting of maids and dukes.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/03/2023

In particular, I appreciate the second in-text image as particularly well-done even as I'd say that they all compel collecting ;-D!

That image is of St. George slaying the dragon, isn't it?

In particular, I also must say that the first in-text image intrigues me.

Would the royal figure be a "generic" king or would there be any one king associated more than any other with Mardi Gras in general and with the year 1872 in particular?

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