The interaction between platelet glycoprotein (GP) Ib alpha and von Willebrand factor (VWF) is essential for thrombus formation, leading to the arrest of bleeding. The N-terminal domain of GP Ib alpha, which contains the binding sites for VWF and alpha-thrombin, crystallized in the tetragonal space group P4(3) with one molecule in the asymmetric unit. When the crystals were treated with platinum, the crystals changed their symmetry from tetragonal to monoclinic P2(1) with two molecules in the asymmetric unit. The structure of the monoclinic form was solved using two-wavelength platinum anomalous dispersion data. The tetragonal crystal structure was subsequently solved using molecular-replacement techniques using the monoclinic structure as the search model and was refined with 1.7 A resolution data.