St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, is one of six cathedrals included in a set of stamps that has been reproduced in sterling silver by Royal Mail.
The stamps, featuring the interior designs of the Cathedral stamps issued in May 2008, were made using pioneering and patented processes by the Royal Dutch Mint.
The Belfast Cathedral Silver Stamp is the second in the collection to be issued. The Lichfield Cathedral stamp was issued last November with those of Gloucester, St David’s, Westminster and St Magnus Cathedrals following at intervals later this year.
The stamp is housed in a sealed blister to protect the high-quality finish and help prevent tarnishing and is presented on a card with two views of the cathedral bearing the 48p Belfast Cathedral stamp cancelled with a Belfast postmark.
The Very Reverend Dr Houston McKelvey, Dean of Belfast, said: “This is the second initiative by the Royal Mail which has placed the Cathedral's profile on the international scene.
“We know from our daily visitors’ records that every such initiative does bring more people from abroad. The Royal Mail effort will help attract visitors not only to the Cathedral but to the Cathedral Quarter, the city and the province. In doing so these visitors will make a welcome contribution to our local economy.
“There is a lot more to this than simply a photograph of the cathedral on a stamp and in a time of recession this sort of initiative is most welcome indeed."
Production is limited to 3000 for each cover and priced at £24.42. The stamp is not valid for postage and is only available directly from Royal Mail, Tallents House, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB or by ordering on-line at www.royalmail.com/stamps.