LeetCode Challenge #3: Jewels and Stones

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Problem Statement

You're given strings J representing the types of stones that are jewels, and S representing the stones you have. Each character in S is a type of stone you have. You want to know how many of the stones you have are also jewels.

The letters in J are guaranteed distinct, and all characters in J and S are letters. Letters are case sensitive, so "a" is considered a different type of stone from "A".

Example 1:

Input: J = "aA", S = "aAAbbbb"
Output: 3

Example 2:

Input: J = "z", S = "ZZ"
Output: 0

Step by Step Solution

Identify patterns After reading the problem and examples, we can conclude 3 things:

  1. The output of this problem is an integer that represents how many characters of String J exist in String S.
  2. We have to compare each character (char) of J to each character (char) of S.
  3. If character of J is found in S, we increase the output count by 1.

Write the Pseudocode The following solution can be written as:

  1. Initialize the output integer count to 0.
  2. Have a for loop that iterates through String S.
  3. Inside that for loop, have a for loop that iterates through String J. If char at S[i] == char at J[j], increase count by 1. Else, move onto the next index.
  4. Finally, after the outer for loop finishes, return the count output.

Remember: We want to check if a char of J is found in each char of S. So for example, when the outer for loop is at S[0], we will have the inner for loop iterate through J[0] to J[length-1] to check if S[0] == J[j]. If there is, increase the count variable by 1. Else, do nothing. Then, the outer for loop will move onto S[1] and the inner for loop will again check if J[0] to J[length-1] matches S[1] and so on. The loop stops after it reaches the final character of S.

Let's get coding! Now, let's try to put the pseudocode into Java:

class Solution {
    public int numJewelsInStones(String J, String S) {

        //Initialize count
        int count = 0;

        for(int i=0; i< S.length(); i++){
            for(int j=0; j<J.length(); j++){
                if(S.charAt(i) == J.charAt(j)){ //check if there's a match
        return count;


This problem may seem difficult to understand for beginners but once you have a clear understanding about strings and for loops, it is definitely not a hard problem. I hope I explained it clear enough but feel free to ask any clarifying questions on my profile here. Keep practicing and good luck to anyone who's challenging LeetCode too!

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