A form of corundum, the word "sapphire" brings to mind a rich blue color. If a gem is called sapphire, it refers to the blue variety. A rainbow of other sapphire colors exist and the color is included in the gemstone's name: yellow sapphire, violet sapphire, orange sapphire, etc. There is also the padparadscha sapphire, a gorgeous orange-pink stone named after the Sanskrit word for lotus.
The history of sapphires date back to the 7th century BC when it was used by the Etruscans. Many cultures consider sapphire the most spiritual of all gems, representing the purity of the soul.
Excerpt from Birthstones and the Lore of Gemstones by Willard A. Heaps