Fire was first established in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1981. With a
strong desire to be closer to "the source" it became evident that
gem procurement from the capital city was too limiting.
In 1983 Blue Fire relocated inland to the town of Ratnapura,
the gem producing center of Sri Lanka, where we remain to this day.
Soon after relocating, Blue Fire began a systematic study of the
local, small scale, efficient and organized but archaic mining
techniques still used extensively throughout Sri Lanka. During that
period of study and research, both in Sri Lanka and the U.S., a new
type of rough gem sorting system was devised and developed by Blue
Fire, specifically for the Lankan placer alluvial gem deposits, to
be used in conjunction with a floating river dredging platform. By
1985, Blue Fire was mining tributary rivers deep in the tropical
jungle where all equipment and supplies were hand carried in on foot
paths to remote locations. With this "low tech”, ecological, unique
approach Blue Fire gained government support and was tapping sources
of alluvial gem “pockets” previously unreachable by local
Since that time Blue Fire and Gordon
Bleck have become well known to the research department of the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Many new finds from the
field have been reported to the GIA over the years and the GIA in
turn has found many of these field reports worthy of publication.
Blue Fire has worked with several other labs to supply hard to find
material for research in both Europe and the US. Blue Fire has also
been a steady contributor to the wholesale gem market with finer
quality finished sapphires and a variety of Sri Lankan stones as
found nowhere else.
Blue Fire has opened its vast storehouse of experience and knowledge
to those few who wish to venture out to one of the world’s premier
gem locations. Custom tailored and guided field buying trips for
individuals or very small groups will now be available to those
willing to take advantage of a rare opportunity to examine and
purchase gems directly from their source. In Ratnapura you
will be afforded the opportunity to interact directly with the Sri
Lankan gem miners and local gem dealers under the protecting eyes of
Blue Fire, thus insuring wise choices and “local” prices.
On December 24th, 2004, Sri Lanka was devastated by the tsunami that affected the entire Indian Ocean region. The Sri Lankan government estimated more than 40,000 Sri Lankans perished within an hour. Having seen firsthand the vast destruction suffered, particularly by the east coast of the island, Blue Fire and its entire local crew suspended all business for 6 months and launched a relief project assisting the most remote villages on the east coast covering a 30 mile stretch from Panama to Tirrukkovil. We supplied personal hygiene equipment, bedding materials, foods and cooking equipment to over 1,100 families which included over 5,000 people. We also supplied several schools with art materials and toys so the young would not remain idle during those troubling times. We insured that all denominations, Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim villages received what we were able to supply. All these supplies which were bought locally to assist the local economy and transported by us were made possible by generous donations from friends, family and devoted customers. We at Blue Fire and the villages we assisted will always be grateful for the generosity shown by so many friends and supporters.