To settle the mystery of where it came from - my friend and I work for a transfer station, which is where everyone brings their garbage and unloads it in a large building, then it's loaded onto tractor trailers and shipped to a landfill. It can be a stinky job for my friend since he's outside around all the garbage, but I work inside making weight tickets and collecting money, so I'm all comfy. Anyway, people bring in loads of junk they're getting rid of, and the particular box this item was in was a rubbermaid shoebox full of crayons, markers, and McDonald's toys (like someone had given it to a small child to play with at some time).
We do make an attempt to find the rightful owner of things we think may have been thrown away accidently, like class rings. Or if someone calls and says they mistakenly threw away something, we'll try to find it if there's any chance we still have it (chances aren't good since we ship out 100 - 150 tons every day). Our guys don't go through everything, just the occasional box that looks interesting. I'm still surprised at what some people throw away - money, jewelry, etc. - but that's a whole new subject.
If this is a tie clip of some sort, it must be ancient because it would be really bulky on a shirt or tie. I did the google search, but after about 12 pages, still didn't see anything similar. If you have one like it, I'd love to see a picture if you can post one.
The ends where it clamps together aren't sharp. They're bent back onto themselves making a blunt surface where they meet. Also, you can clamp it on your finger, and the hold is maybe half as strong as a regular clothes pin.
My bunnies would be very upset to find out it holds a rabbit's foot, especially if I came near them with it
If it's supposed to be a necklace, you're right, it would be a really ugly one - and I'd never be in style if that's the case, even a hundred years ago - lol.
I really appreciate everyone's suggestions and ideas. Thanks so much for trying.