In the beginning, there were nails. 3400 BC is the earliest known use of them, in Ancient Egypt. It took 3337 years for screws to become the “next wave” in fasteners, found in 3rd century BC Greece. As you can tell, the innovations in fasteners picked up speed in the last few hundred years. Prior to the 1800s, screws were made by hand specifically for the purpose they were needed for. Then they began to produce them in forms, creating the ability to standardize and reproduce them with ease. Now, there are not only thousands of fastener options, but a wide range of finishes as well, each suited to a specific task. Here is a quick guide to the finishes you’ll see in the market today.