Cost and carats: five facts about Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida's crown

24 October 2020 - 21:37 By Toni Jaye Singer
Shudufhadzo Musida was crowned Miss SA 2020 at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on October 24 2020.
Shudufhadzo Musida was crowned Miss SA 2020 at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on October 24 2020.
Image: Miss SA

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.

Zozibini Tunzi models the uBuhle crown shortly after winning Miss SA in 2019.
Zozibini Tunzi models the uBuhle crown shortly after winning Miss SA in 2019.
Image: Yolanda van der Stoep/Miss SA
Sasha-Lee Olivier was the second Miss SA to sport the uBuhle crown.
Sasha-Lee Olivier was the second Miss SA to sport the uBuhle crown.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times

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.

A closer look at the design of the Miss SA uBuhle crown.
A closer look at the design of the Miss SA uBuhle crown.
Image: Miss SA

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.