Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the US have confirmed a 217.78 g piece of gold is in fact a singular crystal. This discovery significantly increased the value of the crystal from around $10,000 to roughly $1.5 million. The specimen, was found in Venezuela decades ago, and is the largest single crystal piece of gold in the world. It was only recently that using advanced probing instruments, experts were able to verify its authenticity.
Gold found in the ground will generally have a polycrystalline structure, meaning it is made up of many crystallites, varying in shape and size. Gold of a mono-crystalline structure, where the material is unbroken, is more rare and of significantly higher value.
The team is now preparing a scientific report and is examining the results to gain further insights into how the rare pieces may have originally formed.