The corundum family includes rubies, blue sapphires and 'fancy' sapphires that come in just about every color and shade. Some stones exhibit a phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue to purple under different lighting. Sapphires can also be gray, black, or brown.
In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens believed that sapphires could protect them from envy and harm. Medieval clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and people thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of oracles.
A sapphire with a special orangy-pink color is called padparadscha, which means 'lotus flower' in Sinhalese, the language of Sri Lanka, and stones from Sri Lanka were initially the only ones labeled with this name. There’s no telling how many padparadschas have been sifted from Sri Lankan river gravel throughout history. Sri Lankans have a special affection for the color that’s traditionally linked with their country.