Mardi Gras doubloons are collectible objects made of metal initially in the shape of a coin. The first doubloons became a feature of Mardi Gras parades in 1960 with Rex being the first Mardi Gras parade to toss these to the public.
Parade doubloons, the most common of Mardi Gras doubloons are often of fifteen-gauge aluminum. These light-weight doubloons are designed to not cause harm if tossed correctly. Some parades desired to set themselves apart with different edges such as scalloped, others tried different geometrical shapes. In some cases ten-gauge doubloons would be special, such as doubloons reserved for the captain, lieutenants, king, queen, or grand marshal. Before going too far, let it be clear that there are no restrictions placed on size of doubloons. Some parades do their own thing. Orpheus uses larger diameter doubloons that look like old records.
On one side of each doubloon is often the image associated with the parading organization. On the other side is usually the image of the parade theme, there usually is a theme that unifies the topics covered by the floats. Celebrity grand marshals sometimes have their image superseding the parade theme, as also might the king or queen.
Color is sometimes added by anodizing the aluminum. A parade might have some doubloons anodized, others not, and those anodized could be in an array of colors. Some parades deliberately limit the mintage of one color doubloon to add to the interest. Unfortunately, the color does not penetrate the doubloon to much depth, so scratches show easily.