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Because it didn't tarnish easily, nickel was the king of finishes from the 1880s until chrome took the crown in the 1930s. In recent years, nickel has had a bit of a renaissance. You can now get a variety of nickel finishes that range from more chrome-like polished nickel to a more stainless steel-like matte nickel finish. Polished nickel has many attractive features. It offers a smooth, lustrous finish. Manufacturers like American Standard brush the nickel to create matte or satin finishes. This shows off the beauty of the nickel and produces a surface that hides scratches, fingerprints, and water spots.