"Can you fix this for me?".
This short, seemingIy innocuous sentence is an utterance that just about every silversmith I know dreads. But why? Permit me to explain.
A lot- if not all of us- get into this business with an insatiable urge to create. Once we get to the heavenly point in our craft that we can actualize our visions, we're cooking! When someone brings us a piece from another jeweler- it's seldom something we can put a creative spin on, & the while the challenge in some cases may be welcomed- the fun is just about sucked out because of the lack of new frontiers of creating.
If the piece of question has a stone there's the matter of removal. Many repairs require heating the piece in order to fix it, & depending on what the issue is & where the problem lies- very few stones are strong enough to withstand the heat, as heating would either crack, melt, or straight up destroy the stone in a variety of ways. There are a few minerals known for their strength. The Mohs hardness scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative ordinal scale, from 1 to 10, characterizing scratch resistance of minerals with the ability of harder material (think diamonds cutting in the bank window...) to scratch softer material.
Taking a stone out of the jewelry is very often the only safe option. A stone should be held in by a bezel or prongs, but sometimes they are held in with epoxy, making it extremely difficult to get it out, as well as leading the person who's fixing it to have to use nasty chemicals to breakdown the glue. The chemicals can also cause damage to the stone. Also, stone removal may require sawing it out, damaging not only whatever metal is around it, but potentially the stone itself.
All in all- it's a headache, & what might look like a simple fix to someone who doesn't understand the breakdown- might be a time consuming, costly & under-appreciated matter to deal with.
Hence, a repeated & resoundingly common big fat "no" to the request.
Bench jewelers are trained in repairs, typically more-so than creating new pieces on their own, so if you're interested in a fix- I recommend hopping on the old Googler & doing a search for bench jeweler + your area.
If you came here in hopes of repair- I do apologize! I've got the bug & just want to make my own designs! However- if you're here because something I made has broken (it happens! I'm human!)- please don't hesitate to ask in spite of this post.