Did you ever wonder why the Madi Gras colors are purple, yellow and green? These colors are found on everything Mardi Gras. The baubles and beads, the colored sugar and fondant icing on King Cakes, the Mardi Gras masks, flags, floats, body paint, and artwork all share these three colors.
Every year in New Orleans, Rex is crowned king of the Carnival, and he first ascended to the throne in 1872. History says the first Rex was actually the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia who is also said to be the originator of the Mardi Gras colors. He declared purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. The colors are now used on nearly every Mardi Gras decoration, including the millions of beaded necklaces that have been tossed along the parade route since the 1870s.
One of the most coveted parade throws of Madi Gras are the glass bead necklaces made with Czechoslovakian beads. Most of the beads that are thrown these days are made in China and all plastic, but you can catch the throw of glass beads if you are very lucky. Another way to get these coveted glass beads is to shop at The French Quarter Gem & Lapidary shop in the French Quarter.
The French Quarter Gem & Lapidary is an amazing store that sells all sorts of gems and magical baubles. You must make it down to this friendly and informed shop. You can also purchase Madi Gras necklaces strung with real gems of yellow, green and purple hue. These glorious pieces are accented with pearls and crystals. They are a must see and a must have!
French Quarter Gem & Lapidary 527 St. Phillip Street Phone: 504 524-9596 Hours: Vary. Call before you go.