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A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by its unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific spatial arrangement.

The vast majority of igneous rocks are formed from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the conditions under which they solidified.

Such rocks as granite, which have cooled very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many kinds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common.

For example, selenite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Naica, Mexico.[12] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.

Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above.

Other crystalline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites, are recrystallized.

This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like limestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor entirely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphism have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrystallization in the solid state Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules) include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique.

Most macroscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, ceramics, ice, rocks, etc.