North American Trap Collectors Association, Inc.
Trap Grading System
This is a brand new trap with all the original factory shine. The trap
shows no usage (such as trapper marks, rust, wear, etc.). This is not a trap that has
been cleaned. If the trap has been cleaned to a new condition, it should be stated as
such. New is also referred to as MINT by some collectors.
This can be a trap with a patina surface. Yet all lettering on the
trap should be 100 % readable and sharp.
Some manufacturers of traps (B&L for one) had a reputation of stamping pans very lightly, or in some
cases the die did not get a square hit on the pan, causing only half of the pan to be readable. Some
collectors grade differently than others on this, but this should be noted when selling the trap.
This can be a trap with a patina surface. The lettering is very sharp and
readable. The trap may be waxed and/or dyed. There is absolutely no rust pitting (explained in a later
grade) on the trap. Trapper's marks may be acceptable, depending on the individual collector.
VERY GOOD (VG)
This is a trap with light to moderate rust pitting. The lettering at this
stage is starting to suffer. Lettering on the trap will be 90 % to 100 % readable, but light. Rust pitting
is holes or pores in the surface caused by rusting of the steel.
This is a trap that has moderate to heavy rust pitting. At least 50 % of the lettering
on the trap is visible.
This is a trap that has heavy rust pitting, such as no lettering is showing. The trap
should be complete without any missing parts.
This is a trap missing major parts or extremely damaged regardless of condition.
This does not include traps missing chains since some early manufacturers did not include chains on
some traps. Traps missing chains should be stated as such in the higher grades. Traps graded as poor may only
be valuable in extremely rare traps, or for the use as replacement parts to fix another trap.
PLUS (+) and MINUS (-),