My partner asked for one of my Tibetan amulets the other day. It was the anniversary of his brother’s death (he fell of a horse in Tibet) and perhaps my partner felt in need of protection. I have two amulets: Green Tara and Chenrezig. I bought them when I visited Samye Ling monstery in Scotland. From what I remember they were very cheap, possibly only £1-2 each. Inside the amulets are the mantra related to the deity on the front. Monks usually make them, folding the paper in a particular way, then wrapping it in cotton thread to create a specific pattern. The different mantras can be identified by their pattern. My Green Tara amulet has a five thread pattern echoing the five elements in Tibetan culture.
My modern amulet is encased in plastic, but traditionally the nomads would have made a leather case for them called a gau. You can also buy more expensive gau made from silver or copper. I’ve seen pictures of amulets being used as keyrings, but this shouldn’t be done. Instead they should be worn high on the body, usually around the neck, or kept off the ground on an altar. I also tie mine around the bedposts at the head of my bed.