Tess, you asked.
Or should I have them made from stainless steel or some other
extremely hard metal that won't get stripped with use, and weld
Yes! The metal doesn’t have to be extremely hard, but depending on
the usage, it should be hard enough to stand up to daily wear, over
an extended period.
Please, (with emphasis) don’t use soft metal findings on a production
run (unless of course you plan to vanish and retire on some desert
Nickel or even a good hard brass are usually far superior to gold or
silver for wear and tear characteristics. If you can affix stainless,
or even titanium findings securely, so much the better.
We find that every piece we have to rework costs us:
The production cycle on the piece we have reworked.
The production cycle we would have been able to devote to
producing an additional piece during the rework cycle.
Two to three times the production management time required to
manage a piece through the regular production cycle.
Good luck, and best wishes!
M. M. Rogers Design
Albuquerque, NM USA