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May-June 2011

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A Gem Diaspore Occurrence near Pinarcik, Mugla, Turkey

Diaspore has generally not been a popular mineral with collectors. Aside from several classic localities such as the nepheline-syenite pegmatites at Ovre Åro, Norway, the emery schists at Mramorskoi in the Russian Urals, and the marbles at Campolongo, Switzerland, displayable diaspore specimens have been few and far between. Collectors of American classics will be familiar with the fawn-colored prismatic crystals from Corundum Hill, Newlin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, or the lavender tabular crystals from the emery mines near Chester, Hampden County, Massachusetts. Diaspore is most commonly, with gibbsite and boehmite, a main constituent of metamorphosed bauxite deposits (diasporites) (Gordon, Tracey, and Ellis 1958; Hemingway, Kittrick, and Peryea 1989; Park and MacDiarmid 1975), but in that geological setting it rarely comprises interesting specimens. In addition, diaspore also occurs as hydrothermal mineralization below 960°F in fractures and pegmatites (Hill 1979; Keller 1978; Klug and Farkas 1981; Loffler and Mader 2004; Perrotta 1998; Tsuchida and Kodaira 1990). These deposits sometimes yield larger and more interesting crystals.

Dr. Murat Hatipoglu is an assistant professor at Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey. He is the coordinator of the Gemology and Jewelry Program in the Izmir Multidisciplinary Vocational School and director and senior staff gemologist of the Dokuz Eylul Gemological Testing Laboratory.

Dr. Steven C. Chamberlain, a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals, is the coordinator of the Center for Mineralogy at the New York State Museum.

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