What defines a legend? Our belief is that thinking big, like Mansa Musa, the legendary leader of Mali in the fourteenth-century, is an important factor in building a global enterprise.
Sometimes called Musa the Magnificent, he was revered for transforming the wealth from three gold mines and control of strategic trade routes into the dominant African empire of his era. In Mali he created a world power of enlightenment - a place of Muslim piety that was free of religious war and strife. Like Canada, Mali was a mosaic of many cultures and religious beliefs and Musa melded the many into one while promoting education, trade and commerce.
Legend Gold has taken inspiration from Mansa Musa. In his reign Timbuktu, located at the precise point where the Niger flows northward into the southern edge of the desert, was transformed into a city of great knowledge and trade.
As a result of its unique geographical position, Timbuktu, now a cliché of off-grid obscurity, was once the cross-road where "the camel met the canoe" and the port where goods from West Africa and North Africa were traded. Salt came from Tegaza in the north, gold, from the immense gold mines of the Boure and Banbuk. Goods coming the Mediterranean shores were exchanged for salt and gold. The prosperity of the city attracted a mix of black scholars, blacks merchants and Arab traders from North Africa.
Mansa Musa's most legendary exploit was his pilgrimage to Mecca - a requirement for all devout Muslims. His entourage included 60,000 porters and courtiers and servants, all richly dressed, astride camels and conveyances. Each porter carried three kilograms of pure gold, or at least 180 tons of gold (Reference: Volume IV UNESCO General History of Africa, pages 197-200).
Wherever his caravan halted on a Friday, he paid for the erection of a mosque. He became legendary everywhere for his generosity and the extravagant spending of his entourage. This gold was distributed to the poor along his way, which drew attention to the great wealth of the Mali Empire. Mansa Musa distributed so much gold that it caused inflation in Cairo. The value of gold dropped and did not recover for many years. As result of this great adventure, the name of Mali and Timbuktu appeared on the 14th century world map.
Musa's hajj gained him much respect in the Arab world and stimulated interest by Egyptian traders in commerce with West Africa. Ambassadors were exchanged with Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and other countries and increased Mali's prosperity and prominence, not only in the Islamic countries but to the far corners of medieval Europe, much like the quest for El Dorado would in centuries to come.
Gold has always been an object of desire. Many empires have been built around the pursuit and acquisition of gold. We believe our legend has just begun. Join us in our quest.