As for the kind of wire, copper wire! There’s nothing special about an aerial, its a piece of wire sticking out into space. To radiate effectively it needs to reach out into as much space as possible, but also be resonant at the right frequency. A standing wave builds up on the antenna till the losses (radiation and heating) match the incoming power. A good (resonant) antenna radiates far more than it wastes as heat (hence copper being a good choice!). A good transmitting antenna is automatically a good receiving antenna at the same frequency and impedance (because the same resonance allows it to pull power out of the air).
One way to measure the quality of an antenna is its equivalent cross-section. This is the notional area is has, assuming it perfectly captures all the radio energy crossing that area. Clearly the lower the frequency (the longer the wavelength) then the greater the antenna’s cross-section - this is why 2.4GHz typically has much shorter range than 433MHz (at the same power with 1/4 wave or dipole antennas).
I love the fact that when antenna is on an insect the plural is antennae, but on a radio the plural is antennas, despite being the same word. [Or ‘aerials’ if you’re British!!]