Diaspore is a native aluminium oxide hydroxide, α-AlO(OH), crystallizing in the orthorhombic system and isomorphous with goethite. 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 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 talc, brucite, and gypsum by its greater hardness of 6.5 - 7. The specific gravity is 3.4. When heated before the blowpipe it decrepitates violently, breaking up into white pearly scales.
The mineral occurs as an alteration product of corundum or emery and is found in granular limestone and other crystalline rocks. If obtainable in large quantity, it would be of economic importance as a source of aluminium.
Other names for diaspore include empholite, kayserite, tanatarite and spelling variations of these.