Diaspore is a native aluminium oxide hydroxide
Aluminium oxide hydroxide
Aluminium hydroxide oxide or aluminium oxyhydroxide, AlO is found as one of two well defined crystalline phases, which are also known as the minerals boehmite and diaspore...

, α-AlO(OH), crystallizing in the orthorhombic system and isomorphous with goethite
Goethite , named after the German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, is an iron bearing oxide mineral found in soil and other low-temperature environments. Goethite has been well known since prehistoric times for its use as a pigment. Evidence has been found of its use in paint pigment samples...

. It occurs sometimes as flattened crystals, but usually as lamellar or scaly masses, the flattened surface being a direction of perfect cleavage on which the lustre
Lustre (mineralogy)
Lustre is a description of the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal, rock, or mineral. The word lustre traces its origins back to the Latin word lux, meaning "light", and generally implies radiance, gloss, or brilliance....

 is markedly pearly in character. It is colorless or greyish-white, yellowish, sometimes violet in color, and varies from translucent to transparent. It may be readily distinguished from other colorless transparent minerals with a perfect cleavage and pearly luster, like mica
The mica group of sheet silicate minerals includes several closely related materials having highly perfect basal cleavage. All are monoclinic, with a tendency towards pseudohexagonal crystals, and are similar in chemical composition...

, talc
Talc is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg34 or Mg3Si4O102. In loose form, it is the widely-used substance known as talcum powder. It occurs as foliated to fibrous masses, its crystals being so rare as to be almost unknown...

, brucite
Brucite is the mineral form of magnesium hydroxide, with the chemical formula Mg2. It is a common alteration product of periclase in marble; a low-temperature hydrothermal vein mineral in metamorphosed limestones and chlorite schists; and formed during serpentinization of dunites...

, and gypsum
Gypsum is a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. It is found in alabaster, a decorative stone used in Ancient Egypt. It is the second softest mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale...

 by its greater hardness of 6.5 - 7. The specific gravity is 3.4. When heated before the blowpipe it decrepitates
Decrepitation is the breaking of a substance usually accompanied by the emission of a crackling sound. An example for a substance which decrepitates on heating is lead nitrate . The crackling noise which several salts make when suddenly heated, accompanied by a violent exfoliation of their particles...

 violently, breaking up into white pearly scales.

The mineral occurs as an alteration product of corundum
Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide with traces of iron, titanium and chromium. It is a rock-forming mineral. It is one of the naturally clear transparent materials, but can have different colors when impurities are present. Transparent specimens are used as gems, called ruby if red...

 or emery
Emery (mineral)
Emery is a very hard rock type used to make abrasive powder. It largely consists of the mineral corundum , mixed with other species such as the iron-bearing spinels hercynite and magnetite, and also rutile...

 and is found in granular limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 and other crystalline rocks. Well-developed crystals are found in the emery deposits of the Urals and at Chester, Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, and in kaolin at Schemnitz in Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. If obtainable in large quantity, it would be of economic importance as a source of aluminium.

Diaspore along with gibbsite
Gibbsite, Al3, is one of the mineral forms of aluminium hydroxide. It is often designated as γ-Al3 . It is also sometimes called hydrargillite ....

 and boehmite
Boehmite or Böhmite is an aluminium oxide hydroxide mineral, a component of the aluminium ore bauxite. It is dimorphous with diaspore. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic dipyramidal system and is typically massive in habit. It is white with tints of yellow, green, brown or red due to impurities...

 are the major components of the aluminium ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...


It was first described in 1801 for an occurrence in Mramorsk Zavod, Sverdlovskaya Oblast, Middle Urals, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The name is from the Greek for διασπείρειυ, to scatter, in allusion to its decrepitation on heating.

Other names for diaspore include empholite, kayserite, tanatarite and spelling variations of these.

Zultanite is a gem quality form of diaspore from Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

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