A considerable fraction of atoms in nanosize particles is at the grain surface (due to the small size of the crystals). We assume that the surface atoms form a separate structural phase relative to the bulk of the grain (the core). Therefore, one set of the lattice parameters characterizing a nanocrystal may be inadequate for a unique description of its structure. An alternative evaluation of diffraction data of nanocparticles, based on the 'apparent lattice parameter' is proposed. Based on this new methodology it is shown that real nano-crystals constitiute a complex, more than a one-uniform-phase structure.