The King of Hermès will distribute real rows of pearls thanks to a local jeweler

Fourth-generation master jeweler Franco Valobra does something special for the Hermès show, donating 100 strands of genuine pearls to the king to hand out.

A local business owner wants to remind everyone how important Mardi Gras and the tourists who visit it are to the local economy and he’s doing it in a way you’ve never seen before, with real jewelry, not plastic throws, at an upcoming parade.

We’ve done many stories about Mardi Gras beads, how they get added to trash, get stuck in trees and sewers, help special needs children with a job, their toxicity to babies, and how some groups make them that are safe for the environment. But you’ve never seen a Mardi Gras bead story quite like this.

Fourth generation master jeweler Franco Valobra does something special for the Hermès show. His French Quarter gallery is donating 100 strands of genuine pearls to the King of Hermes for spectators at the Friday night parade.

“The King wants to show all partygoers that Mardi Gras is rare and precious to all of us, to our tradition, to our economy, to everything in between,” said Franco Valobra, owner and president of Valobra Jewelry in New Orleans. . , Houston and Switzerland.

The pearls are double A grade, 10-12 millimeters round, perfectly matched with high luster and knotted in between. Some have an opera length of 54 inches. The others are even longer, 72 inches. At retail, they run in the $1500 range.

“These are going to be handed out to people along the route to let them know that this Mardi Gras is here to stay, no matter what. No hurricane, no pandemic, no crisis will stop Mardi Gras.

This is not the first time that the New Orleans native of Italian origin has given back to his adopted city. Every Christmas, he organizes a big toy distribution with the Ferrari automobile club. He organized food drives to bring donations to hurricane victims and he donated special gold recognition pins to frontline healthcare workers during the height of the pandemic.

“I came here and I love New Orleans. I love the people of New Orleans. I love resilience. I love tradition. I love pride. This is my new home” , Valobra said.

The folks at Valobra Jewelry say they can tell the people of New Orleans have a different culture than anywhere they go in the world. They say we have an attitude of gratitude, are much more festive, and are much more likely to strike up a conversation and be very talkative with strangers.

But he says the city that forgot about care can’t now forget to give back time, money and effort to keep the culture alive.

Hermès drives at 5:30 a.m. Friday night on the uptown road.

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