Blue Sapphire Comparison - Natural vs. Chatham Lab-Grown

Sapphire, with its blues so "saturated and velvety," as GIA puts it, you'll be stepping in rhythm and swimming in deep in no time.
Color of the skies, color of the oceans. Admirers everywhere gravitating to what they are fond of most: nature.
The history of sapphire can be best surmised by GIA with the following words: "Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It has decorated the robes of royalty and clergy members for centuries. Its extraordinary color is the standard against which other blue gems--from topaz to tanzanite--are measured." And we all can attest to this knowing which stone rocked the finger of one Princess Di.

For her engagement in 1981, she smartly chose an 18-carat Oval sapphire as center piece to a surrounding cluster of diamonds. Word spread like wild fire and for quite a long while, too. Prior to the event, this kind of setting was rarely ever seen before and now,
it’s one of the most imitated (a trend made timeless). The ring now a family heirloom, presently sits pretty on the finger of Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate Middleton.

As blue sapphire is often looked to as the head hue of its group, we mustn't forget its relation to other well-known relatives in the bigger family of corundums such as ruby or white sapphire. A corundum is classified as aluminum oxide in its crystalline form, a rock-forming mineral with variances in transparency and color (and all basically take the title "sapphire" if not ruby red). Here's to no questioning that good looks run in this family. The below 2 images are examples of GIA's Blue Sapphire in the rough and faceted.
Vivid, intense, and all other adjectives to describe such a royal color. GIA even states that it's as if light is emitted from within. Can we say it's lit?
And just as we so briefly introduced Proud Pioneer of Lab-Grown Gemstones Chatham Laboratories in the Ruby Comparison, we repeat here for your convenience:

Founded 75 years ago, Chatham is recognized as the leader of laboratory-grown gemstones, with a large selection of rubies, blue, pink, white, and yellow sapphires, emeralds, padparadscha, alexandrite, aqua blue spinel, and diamond. So recognized that they are in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and the collection of the Gemological Institute of America.
These gemstones have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined gems do. Chatham does not “make” gems, but rather controls the environment so that crystals can grow naturally: recreating the conditions in which gems grow in the earth. So the reason why they look real is because they are! They're just grown in-lab. 
One great benefit of owning a Chatham lab-grown gem is that it does not have the many "inclusions" that natural gemstones contain. Inclusions are known to create durability issues and may cause breakage and cavities. Chatham's master gemstone cutters actually cut away 80% of the rough crystals to select only the best color and clarity; less inclusions, more durability.
Because they're grown in-lab under a controlled environment, all of Chatham's gemstones produce the most vividly saturated color possible and are neither enhanced nor color treated as a result.

See our example of the Lab-Grown blue sapphire below.

The Breakdown

Natural
  • Natural means rare, unique in nature--such as one's love for another.
  • Inclusions are imperfections that some like to embrace as part of the mined gem culture, proof each gem is one of a kind
  • Classic, has an old world charm to it
  • Comes with a story
Lab-Grown
  • Grown with the same physical, chemical, optical properties as natural
  • Consistence in quality and color, not enhanced or color-treated
  • More durable, same hardness. Little to no inclusions!
  • Cost savings--sometimes dramatic, other times modest
  • Smaller carbon footprint
Can you tell the difference visually from looking at both?