Mali - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Mali, a landlocked country in Western Africa bordered by Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania has a total land area of 478,839 square miles and a population of over 14.5 Million. Though among the poorest countries of the world, Mali is considered as a politically and socially stable country of Africa. It is mostly flat, rising to rolling northern plains covered by sand. Its natural resources include gold, uranium, phosphates, salt and limestone. Agriculture is the major contributor to its economy with cotton being its largest export crop. Mali has many steep challenges to tame related to poverty, malnutrition, and hygiene.

Travel Resources:

Tourism in Mali is yet to shift to higher gear though it has three World Heritage Sites – Timbuktu, Dienne, and Bandiagara. Projects are underway to offer ecotourism as well as conventional tourism opportunities. Rice and millet are the staples, cooked with sauces and served with meat on the side.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Mali Bradt Travel Guide978-1841622187$19Best travel planning book for Mali. Part I is a travelers introduction covering 100 pages. Part II has sections on Bamako, Segou, The Niger Inland Delta, Dogon Country, Gourma, Gao, Timbuktu, Sikasso, and Kayes.
Mali Map by International Travel Maps978-1553413141$121:2,400,000 Scale. Includes inset map of Bamako and Timbuktu.
Mali Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001AQQ0CK$7

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamp of Mali was released on November 7, 1959 to mark the founding of the federation of Mali. The stamp (Scott #1) catalogs for around a dollar MNH and around half that for used. The federation of Mali consisted of the Republic of Senegal and the French Sudan. French Sudan became the Republic of Mali on June 20, 1960. In the interim, a set of stamps in the Fish theme was released on March 5, 1960. The set (Scott #2 to #8) catalogs for around $10 MNH and around $4 used. The designs show parrotfish, triggerfish, psetta, blepharis crinitus, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, and dentex. Most of the population of Mali lives in the southern region. Niger and Senegal rivers run along this region.

The first stamps of the Republic of Mali were ‘Republique Du Mali’ overprints on three of the federation issues from the Fish set. The set (Scott #10 to #12) catalogs for around $7 MNH and around $2 used. The first original issues of the Republic were a set of two stamps featuring Leaders released in 1961. The set (Scott #13 to #14) catalogs for around a dollar MNH and around half that for used. The designs show Mamadou Konate and Modibo Keita. The set is also remarkably inexpensive and catalogs for around a dollar MNH and around half that for used. Mobido Keita was the first President of Mali from 1960 to 1968. Mamadou Konate founded the Sundanese Union with Mobido Keita. He was elected Vice President in the National Assembly of 1956 but died soon after from hepatitis.

Other issues of Mali enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of four stamps released on December 11, 1972 showing Locomotives. The set (Scott #195 to #198) catalogs for around $18 MNH and around $5 for used.. The designs show the arrival of first locomotive in Bamako in 1906, Thies-Bamako of 1920, Thies-Bamako of 1927, and Two Alsthom BB of 1947.
  2. A set of four stamps released on August 11, 1986 in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) theme. The set (Scott #542 to #545) is sought after and catalogs for around $40 MNH and around $5 used. The designs show Derby’s Elands.
  3. A set of two stamps released on April 16, 1993 in the World Health Organization (WHO) theme. The set (Scott #596A-B) catalogs for around $90. The designs show polio victims, Rotary emblem, WHO Emblem, and pregnant woman receiving vaccination. A few other sets (Lions Club 35th anniversary - Scott #597 to #598, Martyr’s Day 2nd anniversary – Scott #595 to #596, and New Constitution First anniversary – Scott #594A to #594B) released in the same year are similarly highly valued.
  4. A set of four stamps released in 1999 in the Fight against Poverty theme. The set (Scott #1018 to #1021) catalogs for around $7 MNH and around $4 used. The designs show agriculture, labor projects, food, and potable water. Mali is a very poor country. With support from World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the country started economic reforms in 1988. 
Numismatic Profile:

The first coin of Mali was a Republic Standard Coinage 10 Francs Silver Coin issued in Proof in 1960 showing Arms of Mali in Obverse and Bust of President and Date of Independence in Reverse. The issue has low mintage (10K) and catalogs for around $40. Gold Proofs debut in the same theme in 1967 and Mali has issued a few commemorative gold proofs with low mintage over the years. They generally catalog for a good premium over bullion value.

Numismatic items of Mali include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$3 and upCommon UNC Francs starts around $3. Commemorative Issues from the 1960s in BU start around $10. Commemorative Silver Proofs and Essais start around $50. Gold Coins go well into the 100s and 1000s.
Paper Money$10 and upWest African States Mali Inscribed UNC notes start around $10. Low Serial Numbers, Rare Dates, and Early Large Notes start around $50. Scarce Early High Value UNCs go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Jewelry$10 and upUnheated Mali garnet samples start around $10. Mali Garnet Jewelry, Ancient Trade Beads, Blue Wound Glass Beads etc start around $20. Old Dogon Rings, Brown Carnelian Agate Trade Beads, etc start around $50 and go into the 100s. Large Islamic Eye Bead Strands, Amber Necklaces, and huge very fine Mali Garnets can go into the 1000s.
Antiques$10 and upDecorative Snake Design Wooden Cup and Laddle along with other wood carvings, and utensils start around $10. Dogon Mud Fabric Tapestries, Dogon Bronze Mali Statues, Neolithic stone beads, etc start around $30. Bambara and Dogon masks along with Baman Iron Masks and statues start around $100. Bambara sculptures and puppets go into the 1000s.
Art$15 and up19th century local scenes and personnel prints start around $15. Biiga Wooden Dolls, Bambara Fetishes, Antelope Headdress, Fertility Figures, Senufo Pots, Senufo Drums, etc go into the 100s and 1000s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$5 and upSmall meteorite samples start around $5. Bracelet currency, Spindle Whorls, etc go into the 50s.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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