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Leonid Surpin passed away

With great sadness I report the passing of Leonid Surpin in August.

Evidence of his skill, wisdom and humor is posted throughout our archives.

May this very special jeweler rest in peace.


Thanks for the info Betty.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a year I was more ready to see the back of.

Leonid and I seldom saw eye to eye, but I always enjoyed our arguments.
I wouldn’t have spent as much time as I did, arguing with someone who’s opinion I didn’t respect.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
-Brian Meek


We didn’t always agree about the same articles but I still have respect for Leonid.
He was a great goldsmith with lots of knowledge

My deepest symphaty for a his family.

May your soul rest in peace and thank you for shearing your knowledge.

Pedro Alonso-Sanchez


What a bummer - my sympathy to his family. @Betty2 is there an address or email to which sympathy expressions may be appropriately directed?


I am so sad to hear of his passing.

I was just thinking about him the other day. Thinking how orchid was never so active as it was when Leonid the contrarian was stirring things up by challenging the rest of us. That guy was not just knowledgeable but fearless… and is both missed and remembered.


sad news…

…just last month I was watching his youtube videos…



oh Wow , that is sad news , 2016 just keeps on taking. may he rest in peace, my deepest sympathies to his family. I always enjoyed his points of view on jewelry and the discussions that went with it back and forth. over the years I did get some very usable technique info and material info from Leonid too. he will be missed . RIP Leonid.


So very sorry to hear this news! RIP Leonid. Such brilliant work!

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Leonid, we thank you for your passion, your skill, your love of the
trade, we still have your youtube videos so we can visit and hear your
voice which we do miss. rest in peace my friend, rest in peace.


I agree with everything said by others, including Brian’s comment about
this year.

Leonid said he wanted to teach old world goldsmithing methods that were
disappearing. He said he had plans for 12 DVDs, each showing
progressively more advanced techniques. The videos were to start at a
point where all other instructional DVDs left off. They did, starting
with hand fabrication of an eternity ring. Leonid finished three. I
can’t imagine what the 12th DVD would have been like, but he has a long
series of YouTube videos on the creation of an heirloom pendant that
might fit the bill. English was not his first language and he didn’t
catch the spelling error until it was too late to fix, so the series is
titled “Heirloom Pendent”. It did not start off showing what the
jewelry was to be, so the project was revealed slowly, a little at a
time. For those who would like to see it I suggest starting with the
last video of the series and looking at the very last part first. I
don’t know of another source for seeing such a complex piece being made
right before your eyes.

His three DVDs seem to be still available on Createspace, for how long I
do not know:

Eternity Ring:

Coronet Cluster:

Ballerina Ring:

These DVDs do in fact show techniques that cannot be found on other
DVDs. Perhaps a few were personal and unique.

YouTube does have a good bit of his work available for free, and I hope
it is kept so people continue to benefit from them.

Neil A


Insert BAD word here!
I am so sorry to hear this.
Stupid 2016! You seemed like such a nice year at the first.
Enough with the whole death thing already. OK?


This is a great lost… RIP

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
Director Tool Sales & Stuller Bench
Stuller Inc.
P 1-800-877-7777 ext 4191 or 4194

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I am both shocked and saddened by the loss of Leonid.

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This is very sad news. I used to love to read Leonid’s posts. He was always controversial in the way he offered his opinions and responses to others, but he certainly had a lot of knowledge and expertise. He often comes to mind if I’m drinking a particularly good coffee (as he was a coffee connoisseur), or if I’m working with princess cut stones, as he once offered the opinion that princess cut stones were “an abomination to the [jewellery] industry”! I will never forget that - it was quite an argument on Orchid!


Sad, Sad indeed!

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Leonid was selling his tools on eBay at least until the middle of June of last year and I was fortunate enough to purchase some of them. As someone who lurked on this site for 15 years, I enjoyed reading the sometimes contentious discussions that he was a part of. I think it’s good that everyone isn’t the same, the world would be a boring place.

Here’s an interview of Leonid from the Benchtalk podcast:

RIP Leonid Surpin


OMG! I had always planned on visiting him someday…:-(… He was my favorite Orchidian.… I don’t know what to say…

Janet in Jerusalem

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It just feels awkward that we can’t do anything to show our appreciation
for what he did for this forum.
I don’t care of beeing right or wrong in a typical topic where people had a
opposit meaning compared to his.
He helped people for free and that’s what counts … for me.

This worldwide knowen community is made by people like him helping others.
I did some research and found an address.and this is what I’ve got.
This is al I can from my place living in Belgium.
If any of you can verify this by any means, then maybe we can do something.

Doing nothing doesn’t feel right to me, this is how I am…sorry.

Lyudmila Leonid Surpin

Hoping that somebody picks it up from this beginning.
Better late then not at all.

Best regards

Pedro 24 Tanager Rd #2404, Monroe, NY 10950 (845) 783-1152

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and all,

I didn’t know exactly how to say this, but to put it bluntly, Leonid Surpin’s family does not want to be contacted.

During a search for one of his videos, I received a response from a family member who told me of his passing and at my request, gave me permission to report it here.

When Seth asked for an address, I contacted this family member again and asked if they minded if I shared their address with Seth and/or our group, and the answer was that they did not want any further correspondence because it was too painful.

I hope this was not a reference to the painful memory of how some obnoxious Orchid members ran him off of the forum. It was the reason why Orchid went from being busy to not-so-much. All one needs to do is to read our archives to know exactly which members are an embarrassment.

Regardless of what is causing pain to his survivors, they asked to be left alone and I personally think if there are any Orchid members who have good taste, they should know better than to try to contact his survivors.

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Hello Betty2

Well, in that case this is a dead end.
Anyway, it is what it is and if his family feels like this is te way to go
then I respect their choise.

Thank you for writting it the way it is, you did the right thing!

Have a nice day and enjoy life

Best regards