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It looks important.
It looks to be about the size of a wrist pin clip but I don't think so.
I had the same thought. It looks like the inside tang of one of those internal locking clips where you have to grab the center tang and twist it to the side to let the clip unlock. I can't find an image.

I don't think they are used as wrist pin clips but I can't remember where I have encountered them before.

@Gunnar which end has the broken edge and has it been chewed up? Hard to tell from the pictures.
 

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Looking at it closer, it almost looks like a piece of safety wire that got smashed by a gear or something. The safety wire I use is stainless but I'm guessing other steel alloys are out there. (some stainless is magnetic)

Wood Electric blue Thumb Fashion accessory Metal
 

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My other thought is that retaining rings are very hard and not easily mangled. This just seems like random bends.
 
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