USA/CARIBBEAN. Starboard Cruise Services has partnered with Caribbean luxury jewellery specialist Little Switzerland to launch the world’s first lab-grown diamond jewellery collection at sea.

Starboard is the exclusive cruise distributor for Engrace Diamonds by Little Switzerland. Curated collections are featured from this month (September) onboard six vessels in which Starboard manages retail operations.

According to the partners, Engrace Diamonds are produced with limited environmental impact and -85% water usage compared to traditional diamond mining. The diamonds are sustainably and ethically-sourced and featured in rings bracelets, earrings and pendants.

Starboard Cruise Services President and CEO Lisa Bauer said: “Amidst the new era of conscious cruising and today’s demand for eco-luxury, bringing Engrace Diamonds onboard symbolises the industry’s commitment to sustainability, transparency and social responsibility.

“As our cruiseline partners make strides to becoming more environmentally friendly, we’re supporting them through the retail channels with sustainable, more desirable high-end products and socially responsible brand options.”

Engrace Diamonds is a leading lab-created diamond jewellery brand in travel retail. The engineered diamonds are created above the ground in the USA, from pre-existing diamond seeds.

According to the brand, the diamonds are made under the same conditions that occur below the earth’s surface, using high-pressure and high-temperature technology. The gems are crystallised to mature for six to ten weeks.

The diamonds are cut and polished and evaluated by the same labs that certify earth-mined diamonds for the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour and carats.

The key difference between mined and lab-grown diamonds is their origin.

According to Little Switzerland Chief Executive Officer Hal Tayler, lab-grown diamonds are “the future of fine jewellery”.

“Lab-grown and mined diamonds are one and the same, with the same physical, chemical and optical properties. Guests will be enamoured by the pristine beauty and excellent value lab-grown diamonds offer,” he said.

Set to sparkle: Engrace Diamonds by Little Switzerland pieces are available now in selected Starboard-managed stores

“Partnering with Starboard, we are able to expand our horizons by offering cruise lines and guests the assurance of purchasing the largest, highest clarity diamonds at sea.”

Engrace Diamonds offers high colour and clarity diamonds in white, yellow, pink and blue. Set in 14 carat gold, prices for the more than 200 designs start at US$1,000, with an exclusive collection valued between US$10,000 and US$30,000.

Note: Starboard Cruise Services returns to the Virtual Travel Retail Expo as an exhibiting retail partner this year (11-15 October), with a large delegation of management, operational and buying teams signed up to attend.