Mythical dragon stamps will be released at the convention.

The daily mail delivery is often filled with fundraising appeals, circulars and other things that go straight into the recycling bin, but sometimes it includes something special. Every so often, a letter or card arrives hand-addressed in a pretty envelope and graced by a miniature piece of art: a stamp.

The American Philatelic Society has been helping stamp collectors to find and display these tiny artworks since 1886. Every year, the society hosts StampShow, a convention where diehard collectors and those with a passing interest come together to increase their philatelic knowledge and exchange stamps. The 132nd convention, hosted this year with the American Topical Association (a group for those who collect stamps based on a theme or topic), will be held in Columbus next month.

“Here Be Dragons” is the theme of the StampShow and National Topical Stamp Show, in recognition of a new series of United States Postal Service Forever stamps that will be released on the first day of the event. The new stamps feature four mythical dragons, designed by USPS art director Greg Breeding and created by Don Clark of Invisible Creature studio.

StampShow/NTSS will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center from Aug. 9 through Aug. 12. The convention features stamp dealers, exhibits, society booths and educational seminars as well as a new program, “Ye Olde Passport,” which encourages participants to explore the show by visiting various booths. In keeping with the theme of the convention, medieval characters will roam the show to take pictures and share dragon lore.

Admission to StampShow/NTSS is free. For more information about the convention, visit stamps.org/stampshow.

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