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Erving a bezel set hematite from a solid backed setting

I recently inherited a bezel set Tiffany sterling round hematite pendant on a choker. I love the piece but I’m not thrilled with the hematite. I’d love to replace it with Boulder Opal if I can find a suitable round stone. The entire setting is sterling except the bezel band which is 18k yellow gold. The back is solid sterling. I read an earlier post about smashing the stone out. This sounds reasonable to me as the hematite isn’t valuable and I’d like to preserve the setting. However, I believe the earlier discussion must’ve had a stone that had an open back. Does anyone know how difficult smashing out a hematite will be? Any advice is welcome! Thank you Paddy