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Top Gold & Brass Hardware Finishes and Key Differences

Posted by Elaina on

Top to bottom, left to right: Skylight | Knob in Elusive Golden Nickel, Skylight | Knob in Brushed Golden Brass, Belwith Keeler Sandrine | Knob in Champagne Bronze, Willow | Knob in Flat Ultra Brass, Williamsburg | Knob in Polished Brass, Bar Pulls | Pull in Royal Brass.

Choosing the right finish on hardware for your space can be overwhelming with the wide array of choices we have available. With this educational blog series, I’m setting out to cover our bestselling Hickory Hardware finishes while explaining the differences so you can make a more informed decision. We always encourage our customers to take advantage of our Sample Program to try before you buy!

A fair disclaimer: finishes can vary widely by brand, manufacturer, and supplier. These blog posts will strictly be focusing on Hickory Hardware finishes and their respective names.

Today we’ll be sharing our most popular gold finishes. For more info on silver finishes, check out this post

Polished Brass

Left to right: Williamsburg | Knob in Polished Brass, Bar Pulls | Pull in Royal Brass, Willow | Knob in Flat Ultra Brass

Popular in the 90s and early 2000s, Polished Brass is a bright, cool-toned gold finish with mirror-like reflectivity and lack of a brush pattern. The finish color is similar to our Royal Brass and Flat Ultra Brass finishes but the mirror-like reflection lends it a completely different look.

This finish is still a huge contender within hardware designs that lean transitional to traditional. My favorites include the oval drop knobs from the Williamsburg collection and the matching cup pulls. Can you imagine how elegant these would look on bold cabinet colors like green and navy? Another great set of hardware that features a lot of Polished Brass that ties in with the Cottagecore trend is the Conquest collection.

Royal Brass

Royal Brass is a light brassy color with a visible brush pattern and a satin sheen. Similar in color to Polished Brass and Flat Ultra Brass but without the mirror-like finish. It is a lot more matte when compared to Polished Brass. Our popular Bar Pulls collection is available in Royal Brass and would look great over modern bright white and deep gray cabinets.

 

Flat Ultra Brass

Flat Ultra Brass is similar to the Royal Brass gold color but is a touch darker and warmer with an even matte finish and no brush marks. Collections that come in this finish include Willow, for those looking for something unique and organic, Crest and Velocity for those into modern and contemporary designs. The touch of warmth coordinates well with medium to deep brown woods and would work equally wonderfully over white and other blonde to light colored wood tones. Gray would also complement this finish.

 

Brushed Golden Brass

Left to right, top to bottom: Williamsburg | Knob in Polished Brass, Willow | Knob in Flat Ultra Brass, Skylight | Knob in Brushed Golden Brass, Bar Pulls | Pull in Royal Brass

Brushed Golden Brass is what we at Hickory Hardware would dub the contemporary gold of today’s era (and my personal favorite). As the name implies, Brushed Golden Brass is a modern classy gold with a brushed satin finish. 


It’s a warm gold with a slight reddish-brown undertone. The brushed pattern helps to hide fingerprints and scratches, a plus for busy high traffic areas like kitchens and baths. This is the classic gold I think of when it comes to pairing with Mid Century Modern and glam designs. It’s the kind of gold that will complement walnut furniture and other similarly neutral to warm-toned woods really well. Brushed Golden Brass looks equally stunning over bold cabinet colors. My favorite collections that come in this finish include many of our newly released and tried and true collections including Veranda, Piper, Maven, Woodward, Skylight and Studio.

 

Elusive Golden Nickel

Clockwise from upper left: Skylight | Knob in Elusive Golden Nickel, Williamsburg | Knob in Polished Brass, Skylight | Knob in Brushed Golden Brass, Willow | Knob in Flat Ultra Brass

Aptly named, Elusive Golden Nickel is a bit tricky to describe. It’s the most cool-toned gold of the bunch. If you find Brushed Golden Brass too warm to complement your interior colors but still want something with a touch of warmth and gold, Elusive Golden Nickel may be your answer.

Clockwise from upper left: Skylight | Knob in Elusive Golden Nickel, Belwith Keeler Sandrine | Knob in Champagne Bronze, Skylight | Knob in Stainless Steel, Dover | Knob in Satin Nickel


Elusive Golden Nickel is essentially the Satin Nickel finish described in this post with a layer of gold tinting. The result is a champagne-like color, similar to our sister brand’s Belwith Keeler’s Champagne Bronze, but cooler. It’s gold, yet muted.

Left: Belwith Keeler Sandrine | Knob in Champagne Bronze, Right: Skylight | Knob in Elusive Golden Nickel

This finish acts like a chameleon unifier to complement and tie together a wide range of cabinet and interior colors. Elusive Golden Nickel can work in trickier spaces and surfaces that traverse the line between cool and warm to neutral. Elusive Golden Nickel works great over muted wood tones like birch and muted gray-based painted cabinet colors like beige, taupe, gray or a gray-sage green. Our top collections Skylight and Twist are available in this unique finish.

That’s it for our top gold finishes! To recap:

  • Polished Brass is a highly reflective cool toned gold.
  • Royal Brass is a cool toned light brassy color with brush pattern and a satin sheen.
  • Flat Ultra Brass is a matte, cool even brass color without brushing.
  • Brushed Golden Brass is a warm gold with a brushed satin finish.
  • Elusive Golden Nickel is a cool toned muted champagne color with brushing.

Stay tuned for future posts discussing bronze, pewter and black finishes!


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