This story takes place in Paris, with a young, middle-class woman named Mathilide Loisel. Mme. Loisel was born with natural beauty and dreamed of a better life; one day, her husband comes home with invitation to a high-society party, she is exited to go but fears she'll have nothing to wear.
After buying a new dress and still in a hurry to get prepared for the party, Mme Loisel asks Mme. Forestier, her friend, to borrow a jewel (necklace), Mme. Forestier complies. Hours later after the party, she notices the necklace is gone.
Mm. Loisel decides to retrace their steps but found no luck in that. So, he went to the police station, to the news-papers to post a reward for the missing necklace, to cab companies, anywhere he could find hope, but, in the end, they learned nothing.
Mm. and Mme. Loisel decide to buy a new necklace for 36-thousand francs, but, they only 18-thousand francs and needed much more, so they decided to do business with loan sharks, make ruinous deals, anything that could help them make enough money, but in doing so, they compromised their lives.
Mme. Loisel decided to help pay their frightful debt, she bargained with a grocer, a butcher, and fruit dealers; she also helped by doing heavy housework such as cooking, cleaning, taking out the garbage and so on, then finally, their debt was paid.
Ten years later, while wondering how life would be different is she didn't go to that party, she saw Mme. Forestier from her window and then proceeded to tell her about how she lost her original necklace and bought her a new one for 36-thousand francs, but then Mme. Forestier told her "oh. my poor Mathilde. But mine was only paste. Why, at most it was worth only 500 francs!".