Steel is what you want. Preferably stainless. Get a magnet- good quality 304, 306, 316 stainless alloy will be non magnetic. Try ofrei and kas-ker. otherwise vintage NOS is always good but like we talked about-can get spendy.
Otherwise some can be cheap tin or aluminium. Even plastic.
>thinking< would or could we apply this stuff to our stuff? I dunno I think it just loses something. Traditional? Learned skills and the fun of it maybe? Applying chemicals and heat treating to achieve colors....do you even get the same results? Is it the same? I'm not sure if I would do this?