ZK tattoo: finger rings in criminal tattoo and their meaning

Ring tattoo on the finger - A sure sign that its bearer is directly related to the criminal world and served time in a closed-type penitentiary. Meaning of the nail depends on what it depicts. The number of rings on the fingers can be different. Sometimes there are a few of them on one finger.

History of the tattoo

The tattoo belongs to the criminal classics. It acts as a business card of its bearer and can tell a lot about him. A large value of this type of tattoo had in the criminal world in the 40-50-ies of the last century. The image of such a tattoo was largely determined by the hierarchical position of its bearer in the criminal world. When transferring from one prison or zone to another, it was possible to immediately determine the status of the prisoner.

Personal fragments could be added to any form of image. Ring bearers of that time were obliged to know all the meanings of the signs and their combinations. A tattoo was meant to say as much about its bearer as possible to people who understood its meaning. In the past it was mandatory for every inmate to get a ring, but not all inmates now followed this requirement.

Over time, the original meaning of the tattoo ring on the finger has lost its relevance, but its popularity is still high among criminals. Distant from the criminal world such tattoos are extremely rare. Nowadays, not only men, but also women with criminal backgrounds do tattoo rings on their fingers. By doing so, they want to emphasize their belonging to the criminal world.

A major role in the classification of tattoos on the fingers of prison rings belongs to Arkady Bronnikov. In the 1960s-80s he created the most complete archive of prisoners' tattoos. He collected his archival material by talking to convicts with a certain status in the criminal hierarchy.


Let's start with the basics: a minimalist religious symbol design. The cross is such a common symbol that even its simplest depiction can convey all the meaning invested in it. In the simplest case, the cross can consist of two thin black lines.

cross on finger

A simple tattoo can be placed on almost any area of the body, including the fingers.

The vast majority of tattoos corresponding to this theme consist only of black ink. The use of black lines adds elegance and simplicity to the design. Naturally, it is also possible to get a colored tattoo.

What does the tattoo cross on the hand

Most often, tattoos of crosses on the fingers of the hand in the style of minimalism are in demand among young girls and guys. As a rule, they are applied to the ring or middle fingers, and are the embodiment of the Christian faith.

cross on my finger


The Celtic cross is a slightly more complex version of the ancient symbol. It usually involves the addition of a circle around the intersection point of two lines. They are usually decorated with patterns similar to those of the Celtic knot.

cross on thumb tattoo

The distinctive Celtic knot is unique in that the lines forming the pattern have no visible beginning or end. The choice of this design emphasizes the timeless nature of faith.


Another variation of the symbol involves an image of a wooden cross, which is a direct reference to faith. According to the Christian faith, the cross on which Jesus was crucified was wooden.

cross on thumb tattoo meaning in the zone


Drawings depicting grave crosses, reminiscent of those often seen in cemeteries, are usually memorial tattoos. Memorial (or memorial) tattoos are a way to honor the memory of a lost loved one. Like wooden crosses, they can be done in a realistic or more traditional style.


Metal crosses in tattoos are often-though certainly not always-military references. They tend to be more elaborate or decorative than stone or wooden ones. This allows more shadows and highlights to be added to mimic the way metal catches and reflects light.

cross on thumb tattoo

With wings.

In Christian symbolism, wings represent angels, ascension to heaven and the idea of a higher power. They also embody the idea of the Holy Spirit-usually depicted as a white dove. Adding a pair of wings to the tattoo creates a unified theme of Christianity and spirituality.

Meaning of the tattoo on the zone

The tattoo on the finger in the form of a ring is very informative. Looking at it, you can learn a lot about its bearer. The drawing of the tattoo contains encrypted information about the person, which can be understood by any sitter. It can be used to determine which article a person was serving his sentence under, in the zones with what kind of regime he was in, and even how he behaved there.

Each tattoo is part of the overall story of a person's life in prison. It symbolizes the power of its bearer's authority, his criminal experience and outlook on life. It is also important what finger the ring was tattooed on. For example, dissatisfied with the court appointed a sentence do tattoo on the ring finger.

A ring on the index finger indicates that a person has a criminal record. It is performed in the form of a rhombus, in which the upper right and lower left parts are painted. Such a tattoo also contains information about a person's position in the criminal hierarchy, his behavioral attitudes, life priorities and values.

In most cases, several different tattoos are placed on the phalanges of the fingers. They can tell a lot about a person's fate. For example, a ring in the form of a lattice with a crown indicates that a person sat in the famous Crosses. Such a tattoo is considered very important in the criminal environment. It is made on the phalanx of the middle finger. In the same place have their tattoos with the crown criminal authorities.

Tattoo in the form of a painted rectangle or square, divided by a light diagonal stripe indicates that the man was sitting in a zone for juvenile offenders.

Finger ring tattoos are applied for a reason. They have to be earned. In some cases they are made against a person's wishes in the form of forced branding.

Ringlets on the fingers of men can be seen much more often than in women. The latter have their own special types of tattoos. The meaning of rings on the fingers of men is somewhat different from women's tattoos. The most popular among women is the tattoo "Alone in the circle of thieves". It indicates that its wearer was serving time for hooliganism.

Real photos of prison tattoos

Surely you have heard about the famous thieves star tattoo on the lap. We wrote about its meaning in a separate article. This is the most famous thieves' tattooFor which the prison administration without unnecessary questions beats the prisoner (based on the stories of former convicts), in order to check whether they do not get on their knees. Below you will find some photos of common prison tapes.Photos of prison tapes

Thief in LawFemale "thief" ringWomen's "first conviction" tattoo"Always Remember the Zone."

An orphanage pupilAnarchist BadgeBadge of FatherlessnessBadge of the White Guard

RacketeerSign of a thief (patsanka)WafflerSix

Thief authorityDeniedMurdererCathedral

Served full timeThief in Law"Round orphan"Kumov's suit

4.6/5 - (7 votes)

The meaning of a ring with a skull

Most often such ornaments were worn by men who performed military service. And we are not talking about the rank-and-file units of infantrymen, but about special units. They could win the right to use special attributes by heroism in battle. Often they were used for intimidation actions.

In addition, the accessory is firmly associated with the biker movement. Free and fearless, lovers of speed and thrills, not recognizing laws and bans - they chose this symbol for themselves.

That is why in today's world, a man's silver ring with a skull means:

  • The danger and menace exuded by its wearer.
  • Fearlessness and readiness to die in battle.
  • Opposition to society and its traditional values.

There is a legend that Death comes to a man a few days before his death and leaves a special mark on his body - the skull. Some people believe that if you wear a ring with this symbol beforehand, death will pass by because they already have this image on them.

In today's world, this sign has become more of a part of style. Regular waves of youth subcultures that imitate their favorite performers. Roleplayers and cosplayers can all use similar images in clothing and accessories. Therefore, the meaning of the ring with the skull may not lie in the ancient traditions at all, but simply in the modern fashion.

The meaning of the ring with the skull
Silver ring with skull in the catalog SUNLIGHT

Because of the fact that since ancient times it was men who were considered protectors and went on military campaigns, women, for the most part, did not use such paraphernalia. Except for a very narrow circle, for example, witches, healers and all those associated with otherworldly forces.

In this case, the skull can be seen as a symbol of eternal life or a way of connecting the living with the world of the dead. For a long time it was considered extremely indecent and even vulgar to wear accessories or clothes with such images. It did not fit the image of a real lady, but times change.

Now the fair sex is on a par with the strong serving in the army, riding motorcycles, playing heavy music. In today's world, a woman's ring with a skull is not uncommon. Many girls use such jewelry to create bold informal images or mysterious and otherworldly gothic bows.

Religious symbolism

The Celtic cross is a tattoo on the finger, which is characterized by the complexity and intricacy of the pattern. It is a sign that the man is growing spiritually.

In Paganism, the cross is the symbol of all sides of the world. The metal cross symbolizes strength and honor.

This version of the tattoo is also seen as a Christian religious symbol. It implies that its owner is a God-fearing person. The love of the Almighty and blessing is always with him. If a person believes in God and is always trying to make others happy, never committing sins, such a tattoo on the finger can mean an inherited strong spirit.

The Christian cross can be depicted in both Orthodox and Catholic versions - two perpendicular lines, one of which is longer than the other. The tattoo can also depict a crucified Jesus. This symbol is associated with the Holy Trinity, a great feast in Christianity, so it can also symbolize a connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Bold and thick lines used in tattooing often signify uniformity and symmetry in life.

Cross on finger tattoo idea

Tattoo in the form of dots

Original dot tattoos or combinations of dots are very popular with both men and women. But few people know that the history of these tattoos originated behind a prison fence. Inmates marked their fellow inmates with these uncomplicated signs to indicate their rank, their niche in the prison hierarchy and to inform other inmates of key information about the sitter.
Within the prison walls, a large sign system was developed to easily and quickly convey the most important information. The meaning of the dots varies depending on their number, geometric combination and location. Of course, modern tattoos cannot be fully compared to the prison tattoos of the beginning of the century. But before choosing a sketch it is better to get acquainted with the main meanings of this symbol.

Types of crosses and their designations

Tattoos in the form of crosses can have different shapes and types of heirlooms:

  • The Celtic cross carries deep meaning. Its owner is vividly concerned about the mysteries of the world. He strives for spiritual growth and knowledge of universal laws;
  • Cross Pagan combines the "yin" and "yang", that is female and male beginning. Such a tattoo also carries a sacred meaning;
  • Maltese cross is a memory of deceased parents; Goths put themselves Gothic crosses, which denote religious affiliation;
  • The Christian sign is depicted as a simple cross and as a crucifix. Such a tattoo indicates that its owner - a very religious person;
  • there is also a Latin cross - an ordinary cross with right angles and even rays. It also has a religious meaning - belonging to Christianity.

Popular sketches of the tattoo point

One of the most popular images for girls is a dot with a comma. Basically, it is placed on the wrist or on the neck. Also look interesting points on the ears. Perhaps the image of labyrinths or solar symbols. Exactly can perform the role of an independent tattoo or be part of a larger figure.

Men prefer a more meaningful large-scale tattoo. Dots are performed only as a symbolic mark. In this case, the dot on the male body will be much more massive than on the female body.

As for the color scheme, in general, this type of tattoo is performed with black paint or graphite-colored tint. However, multicolored options are not excluded, especially when it comes to complex patterns.

Cross symbolism

The cross is an ancient symbol that existed long before Christianity. There is a sign in the cultures of many nations. It was also revered by pagans, so in early orthodoxy it caused unprecedented protest. One of the Christian authors Municius Felix once wrote:

"We do not venerate crosses and do not desire them. It is you, having wooden gods, who also revere wooden crosses as accessories to your gods."

The religious symbol was not adopted by the church until the fourth century, and before that the six-pointed star and swastika were used as Orthodox relics.

In various cultures, the cross symbolized the highest values: fertility, immortality, life. Also, the sign associated with the sun and is depicted as two crossed spokes, representing the daylight. In Orthodoxy the sign symbolizes the anguish of the Savior, who was crucified on the cross and took on the sins of all humanity for his salvation. In occultism the sign represents the four natural elements.

The cross has been widely used not only in Christianity and the occult, but also in magic and heraldry for centuries. The cross is present in almost every magical amulet or talisman. Not surprisingly, the symbol attracted the attention of lovers of body painting, who depicted and depict it on the body. In ancient times, the cross was used to show a person's relation to a certain caste and his status in it, and also spoke about the individual's ability to communicate with the world of the dead. This relic was used to protect against magic negativity and to ward off evil spirits. The cross was widely used in various magical rituals and ceremonies.


For women

For men