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CAYCE, S.C. — Stamps mean a whole lot to South Carolinians that collect them. 
“If they have an interest in any topic or any subject, they can find a stamp that will support that interest, and it’s like a growing hobby. You get involved, you learn, and I used it as an educational tool when I was in grammar school and in high school,” said John Owen, president of Columbia Philatelic Society.
John Owen, president of the Columbia Philatelic society, said the group of collectors has grown to more than 50 members since 1935.
He tells News 19 it’s easy for anyone to find a reason to get involved with stamp collecting, young or old.
“I have followed my education through stamps. I studied stamps from where they were issued, the countries and the background, so I had a good relationship with my geography teacher,” Owen said.
Owen also teaches boy and girl scouts to help them earn their stamp collecting merit badge.
As his group gears up for their semi-annual show next month, they’re reaching out to stamp dealers in neighboring states to come make their mark on the show. 
“Dealers come together to show their wares, show their stamps and people can come in and browse. They come in usually with a checklist of what they were looking for, go to a dealer, see what’s offered and they bicker back and forth until they reach a price that’s agreeable for both,” Owen said.
The price tag for these ink coated rubber pieces can range from nickels and dimes to hundreds of dollars. 
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“I was at the Charlotte Philatelic meeting yesterday and one person had a box full of items to sell and the bids went up to $260,” Owen said.
That’s because some of them have been around for centuries. 
The Columbia Philatelic Society’s February 2022 Stamp Show will be February 19-20, 2022. Hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.
Parking and the show itself are free of charge to the community. 
The group meets every third Sunday from 2 until 4 p.m.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can contact the group leaders Mark (mapostmus@yahoo.com), John (johnwowensr@icloud.com) or Jerry (jemassoc2@gmail.com).
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