Flutes are made from a variety of materials. Student flutes are normally made from silver-plated nickel, while better quality flutes (sometimes the body and the head and sometimes only the head) are made from silver, or even gold!
I was wondering how the material influences the quality of the instrument. I always thought that maybe silver is easier to handle when manufacturing the flute, and makes the perfect form. Especially for the lip plate I can understand how this can be the case, but for the body and keys I see less of a reason why they should be done in silver.
I don't think that the material of the flute influences its acoustics because it's not the flute that vibrates (like the wood of a cello) but the air in it. But maybe I'm mistaken.
Or is it just because of the higher value of silver that only better flutes are made of it?