As Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will attest, there are plenty of amazing magical creatures and it would seem many of them would be well suited to provide some pretty formidable wand cores. We know that other wandmakers use different wand cores like Veela hair (Fleur Delacour) and Thestral tail hair (the Elder Wand). Yet Ollivander restricts his wand cores to just three: unicorn tail hair, phoenix feather, and dragon heartstring.

Why didn't Ollivander use additional wand cores? Why only the three?

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    How do we know Ollivander restricts himself to those three, not that they happened to be the only three mentioned?
    – dlanod
    May 2, 2012 at 10:07
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    Well, can you give a canon example of an Ollivander wand that has a core other than phoenix, unicorn tail hair, or dragon heartstring? :) May 2, 2012 at 10:23
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    No, but that doesn't mean that he didn't make them - just that they were the only ones that happen to be mentioned, hence my question. Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
    – dlanod
    May 2, 2012 at 10:27
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    I like to think that Ollivander once tried to make wands with Demiguise hair but those buggers kept turning invisible upon completion so he stopped making the. Sep 18, 2015 at 12:59
  • @dlanod did you not read the section on wand cores?
    – ava
    Mar 16, 2021 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


From Pottermore's Wand Cores page (it has to be unlocked), as an quote from Ollivander:

After much experimentation and research, I concluded that only three substances produce wands of the quality to which I am happy to give the illustrious name of Ollivander: unicorn hair, dragon heartstring and phoenix feather. Each of these costly and rare materials has its own distinct properties.

He called these the "Supreme Cores" and then describes the various properties of each of the three:


Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard. Minor disadvantages of unicorn hair are that they do not make the most powerful wands (although the wand wood may compensate) and that they are prone to melancholy if seriously mishandled, meaning that the hair may 'die' and need replacing.


As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner. The dragon wand tends to be easiest to turn to the Dark Arts, though it will not incline that way of its own accord. It is also the most prone of the three cores to accidents, being somewhat temperamental.


This is the rarest core type. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn or dragon cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike. Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalise, and their allegiance is usually hard won.

Alternative source here

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    You didn't ask for the properties in your question. ;) Not sure what you mean by verify though - can't post a link to the page because it's part of the "unlocking" of the site AFAIK.
    – dlanod
    May 2, 2012 at 12:26
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    I asked my follow-up question politely and I have a genuine interest in this topic. I get that you do not. I really really feel that verifiable sources are important at this site. I truly think it goes to the credibility of the answer. YMMV. May 2, 2012 at 14:58
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    @Slytherincess I agree that verifiable sources are important for an SE site - especially one like this. However, Pottermore's content is for registered users only. Registration appears to be free, but I think a link to the site would not be useful to anyone who does not wish to register.
    – Iszi
    May 2, 2012 at 17:36
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    @DVK The content is posted, and I'm not contesting that. What I'm saying is that a link would be of limited use.
    – Iszi
    May 2, 2012 at 17:50
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    @Iszi - it would be of use to someone who's registered on Pottermore so they wouldn't have to search. It's like linking to WSJ article behind paywall if it's a source - yes, not everyone can read it, but no, there's no reason to NOT link to it. May 2, 2012 at 17:53

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