Metallurgically, Gold is by far the easiest to work. It is the most ductile, formable metal known. Gold also does not oxidize in any atmosphere that will support human life, and is not subject to attack by any chemicals other than the most corrosive known. Gold is also a fantastic electrical conductor.
Silver is easily worked, although not nearly as worlkable as Gold. Siver oxidizes badly. Ask your wife or mother how often the "Silver" needs to be polished. That surface oxidation is an insulation.
Copper is about the same as Silver, although its conductivity is lower. It also rapidly forms an oxide layer which is an insulator.
Nickle is extremely difficult to work, is an extremely hard and strong metal, which is mostly used in alloys. Nickle also forms a very hard, insulating oxide layer. Spot welding Nickle alloys, we had to clean in a Hydroflouric/Nitric acid bath no more than 4 hours prior to welding. (Hydroflouric acid is THE MOST dangerous of all industrial chemicals)
Rhodium is a cheaper alternate, but not often used.
Surface corrosion does not affect conductivity. It affects transfering a signal/voltage/current from one contact to another. The only time corrsion can affect conductivity is if the wire corrodes in half.
PROPER application of Gold is good for plugs and jacks. However, connections that are made and broken frequently, such as 'phones, don't really need the anti-corrosion coatings. They are essentially self cleaning.