Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Giant hourglasses set in niches along one wall in a corner of the entrance hall record the points for all to see; Gryffindor's is filled with rubies, Ravenclaw's with sapphires, and Slytherin's with emeralds. (Source: HP Lexicon, "Points")

But is there any canon info (books, JKR interviews, and if all else fails, movies) on what Hufflepuff's hourglass is filled with?

share|improve this question
3  
Imported angry hornets that are tired of being underestimated. No, I kid. This is a very good question! Now you've got me curious... :) –  Slytherincess Jun 15 '12 at 22:43
1  
Yellow sapphire, citrine, flourite, yellow diamonds? –  OghmaOsiris Jun 15 '12 at 23:25
    
How about tiger's eye? –  Chetter Hummin Jun 16 '12 at 0:47
16  
Considering Hufflepuff's usual House Cup performance, it was filled primarily with air. –  Gabe Willard Jun 16 '12 at 18:28
    
@GabeWillard harsh man, harsh.... –  Pureferret Oct 14 '12 at 17:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 21 down vote accepted

JK Rowling just replied to someone on Twitter saying they are diamonds.

@HarmonicalHeroL @jk_rowling @lumos What are the gems in the Hufflepuff hourglass?… Oh! Also thanks for all that you do. :)

Twitter, 2:17 PM on 25 Apr 2014

JKR promptly replied:

@jk_rowling: @HarmonicalHero Diamonds, of course. Because that's what Hufflepuffs are (some a little rougher than others). X

Twitter, 2:20 PM on 25 Apr 2014

Here’s a screenshot of the tweets:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
5  
Can you please post a screenshot and a link to the tweet? –  DVK Apr 25 at 18:15
    
@DVK - Sorted now. –  Richard Apr 25 at 18:55
    
Come now, you ought to know better. where's the hand-drawn circle?! (On the other hand, good answer. I'd upvote but I reached my limit for today already). –  Zibbobz Apr 25 at 20:12
1  
@Zibbobz Here, have some circles. –  SQB May 1 at 6:20

**ETA:**4.30.14 - I was going to post JKR's tweet too, but someone beat me to it! Good show, User25498! :)

This answer contains ten 100x100 images. If you don't like images with answers this may not be the post for you. I felt the subject matter warranted images to enhance the answer, as it's a visual subject. There is no gratuitous intent and all images are sourced. This is long because I wasn't able to place the images and text side by side.

I did some research into yellow gems. Of course Hufflepuff's colors are both yellow and black, so I did consider black gems and minerals, but concluded that the color would more likely be yellow. Black is so stark and can be gloomy, plus it would be somewhat close in shade to Ravenclaw's sapphires. I considered obsidian as a possibility, but obsidian is more like glass; I don't believe it's a gem. Further, it's very brittle and can break off in sharpened wedges that can easily cut. So, yes, yellow I think! Edited to Add: Hufflepuff's gems are indeed yellow, according to Pottermore -- the link goes to the Great Hall at Pottermore and you'll need a Pottermore account to access it. Just an FYI.

While I'm sure I wasn't able to perform a perfectly exhaustive search, the follow gems/minerals are what I ended up thinking are more likely candidates (and some I end up ruling out). I am including very small images so anyone reading this can see exactly what gemstone I'm referring to. Here's what I came up with:


Yellow Citrine:

Yellow Citrine

Source: Media Merchant Circle

According to Gemology Online, Citrine today is mostly produced by heating Amethyst to 900° F, at which temperature it turns a green/yellow color. Emeralds, rubies, and blue sapphires occur naturally. As well, the element that Hufflepuff corresponds with is earth, not fire. The citrine picture shows how green undertones come through in the color of the gem.

Yellow Citrine? No


Yellow Chrysoberyl:

Yellow Chrysoberyl

Source: Crystal's Crystals

I love this gem and wish I could definitely say this is likely the Hufflepuffs' gems in the hourglass, but I'm thinking it may not qualify. Chrysoberyl wasn't seen in the West until the 1800s, although it's not clarified whether "the West" includes Europe and the UK, or just North America. It's really the perfect color -- yellow, but with shades that add depth.

Chrysoberyl? Possibly


Yellow Diamond:

Diamonds -- Yellow, Clear, Green, Dark Amber

Source: Gemology Online

While yellow diamonds are more common than clear, and while beautiful, diamonds are expensive (are there any gems more expensive than diamonds per carat?). Perhaps witches and wizards had a source that allowed them to get valuables quite easily; however, what we see in canon doesn't support that. Wizards don't conjure money or food (Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration).

Diamonds? No.


Yellow Opal:

Yellow Opal

Source: Jeweler Online

Opal is not a gem; it's a hardened jelly-like substance. It's also quite opaque, which makes it a fairly dull substance. As well, opals have a dark reputation and have been the center of numerous superstitions.

Opal? No.


Yellow Sapphire:

Yellow Sapphire

Source: Yellow Sapphires

The sapphire is tried and true by Hogwarts, as the Ravenclaws have blue sapphires in their hourglass. The Sapphire is a good possibility because its history dates back to 7th century BC, which fits within Hogwarts' time frame.

Sapphire? Good possibility.


Yellow Quartz:

Yellow Quartz

Source: Four Corners and More

Too chunky and opaque to be a proper hourglass gem in its natural form. Cut, it tends to be more brown than yellow. It is also quite ubiquitous, having been credited for just about everything at one point or another.

Yellow Quartz? No.


Yellow Spinel:

Yellow Spinel

Source: Vendio

Gemology Online, again, reports the two-inch faceted "ruby" in the center of the British Imperial Crown was recently identified as a spinel. So we know the spinel is available in the UK. This is another gem with rich colors, that would look good in the Hufflepuffs' hourglass. Blue spinels have been found in England, dating back to the Roman occupation (51 BC to 400 AD). Spinels come in a variety of colors, including yellow; the existence of spinels in the UK so far back in history make the spinel a good candidate.

Spinel? Excellent possibility.


Yellow Topaz:

Yellow Topaz

Source: Aussie Sapphire

A bit honey-colored and perhaps too dark for Hufflepuff's colors of primary yellow and black. Also not a particularly unusual gem.

Topaz? No.


Yellow Tourmaline:

Yellow Tourmaline

Source: GG Gems

Tourmaline is a very hard and durable gem and it does occur in yellow. Interestingly, when heated, tourmaline attracts dust and particles in the air, which vaguely corresponds to Hufflepuff's earth element. However, tourmaline was not introduced to Europe until the 1700s.

Tourmaline? No.


Yellow Zircons:

Yellow Zircon

Source: Gem Rock Auctions

Zircon is not the same as cubic zirconia; it can be a brittle gem. Furthermoe, zircon contains trace amounts of the radioactive minerals hafnium, uranium and thorium. Although I believe these are all mined from the earth (Hufflepuff's element), I think Hogwarts wouldn't use anything that might put its students at risk, however unlikely the possibility, when other options were available. Would the Wizarding world know about radioactivity? Possibly, but under a different context -- more likely, I think, radioactive elements would be known as poisons, if they are known at all. My sense is that J.K. Rowling wasn't considering whether wizards knew about radioactivity when she created her universe, but as uranium is a naturally occurring substance, perhaps master alchemists or potions masters were at least aware of its existence.

Zircon? No.


I'm going to go with the yellow spinel, especially with the long history of spinels in the UK, the use of a spinel in the crown jewels (showing it's an important gem), and it's rich yellow color. My answer: Yellow Spinel.


ETA 10.14.12:

*Prisoner of Azkaban* - movie - House hourglasses with jewels

In the movie Prisoner of Azkaban, the hourglasses with the jewels are visible behind the high table. Hufflepuff's jewels are indeed yellow in that shot.


House hourglasses with jewels at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL

The Hufflepuff jewels in the hourglasses at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL, appear to be yellow and black. I tend to think that the jewels in canon would be just yellow, as no other house has multiple colors, and this is reflected in the movie Prisoner of Azkaban. I also can't quite tell if the jewels in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hufflepuff hourglass actually has black jewels in there or if it's shadows in between the yellow jewels. Anyone who's been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, please let me know.

share|improve this answer
2  
Wouldn't Opal being dull make it a good possibility for Hufflepuff. –  Dason Jun 16 '12 at 18:18
1  
+1 for good thorough research. :) –  Gabe Willard Jun 16 '12 at 18:27
6  
-1 for lack of hand-drawn circles. –  DVK Jun 16 '12 at 21:16
1  
@naxa -they are required for a successful answer on meta.stackoverflow.com –  DVK Jun 20 '12 at 10:40
1  
@naxa - yep, you got it, it was a joke. I actually upvoted the answer. –  DVK Jun 20 '12 at 15:43

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.