The 6 most common finishes are shown here.
All Finishes have two names, the US Finish name (in blue) and the BHMA name (in orange). The names are interchangeable as they mean the same thing.
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A finish can be applied to brass, steel, aluminum or some combination of several metals. The quality of the finish is the result of the base metal used . Brass accepts finishes the best of all metals but is also the most expensive. The least expensive metal, aluminum, yields a poor quality finish. At the end of the day there is always a trade-off between cost and quality when dealing with finishes.
The most durable finishes are US26D Satin Chrome and US10 Satin Bronze. These are brushed finishes which hide scratches best.