Synthetic sapphire can be created in many ways, one of which is called the Czochralski method. During this process, the various elements that make up sapphire are melted in a platinum crucible. A small gem crystal (called a seed) attached to a rod is then dipped into the melt and slowly pulled away as the crystal grows around the seed. For this reason, the Czochralski method is also known as crystal pulling. 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.