Cost and carats: five facts about Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida's crown
Along with the prestigious title of Miss SA 2020 and a package of prizes and sponsorships worth over R3m, Shudufhadzo Musida has the honour of wearing the uBuhle crown during the year of her reign.
Here are five things you might not know about this dazzling headpiece:
1. IT'S ONLY BEEN WORN BY THREE QUEENS
Created by American Swiss in collaboration with world-renowned jewellery designer Johan Louw of Uwe Koetter, the uBuhle crown was first introduced to the Miss SA pageant in 2019.
Zozibini Tunzi was the first Miss SA to wear it, followed by Sasha-Lee Olivier who took up the title when Tunzi was later crowned. Miss Universe. Musida is the third.
2. THERE'S SYMBOLISM IN ALL THAT SPARKLE
The Miss SA crown takes its name from the phrase uBuhle bethingo lenkosazana (the beauty of the rainbow), a notion which also informed its design.
The design of the colourful band of jewels around the base was inspired by traditional Ndebele patterns, while the larger princess cut stones rising up from it are intended to resemble shooting stars.
3. IT CONTAINS 182 CARATS OF BLING
No, those aren't real diamonds: the sterling silver crown is studded with 2,586 fine-cut cubic zirconia stones. Just sorting all those stones took 36 hours; it took a total of 192 hours to manufacture the piece in its entirety.
4. IT'S FAIRLY HEFTY
Heavy is the head that wears the uBuhle crown: it weighs 517g — a little more than the 500ml bottle of water you'd buy at the supermarket.
5. IT HAS MORE THAN JUST SENTIMENTAL VALUE
In 2019, the uBuhle crown was valued at a staggering R500,000.