One method of creating synthetic ruby is called flux growth. During the flux growth process, flux, a substance that reduces the melting point of surrounding material, is combined, in a metal-lined crucible, with the elements that make up a specific gem mineral. The crucible is heated until its contents are liquid and then it is allowed to cool very slowly. As cooling continues, the gem mineral crystallizes from the solution. Flux grown synthetic gems can take up to a year to grow to a facetable size, but the exceptional clarity of these gems is well worth the wait! Synthetic gems have the same chemical, optical, and physical properties of their natural counterparts, but are a more cost-effective alternative to a natural gem.