Mathilde is well off but unhappy with her life and fantasizes of a perfect one. Meanwhile, her husband, referred to as Loisel, tries to make her feel better. Loisel gets her an invitation to a ball with trouble. Mathilde doesn't appreciate his efforts.
When Loisel gave her the money to buy a dress, she then became upset that she had no jewels to wear. Loisel suggests she borrows some jewels from her friend. After looking through the choices, she finds a diamond necklace and takes it.
Mathilde arrives to the ball as the prettiest woman, and stays there until four in the morning. Not wanting to be seen in the cheap furs her husband brought, she rushes home.
As they arrived home, they realized that the necklace was gone! Loisel went out and searched, even offered a reward if found, but no luck. So, they wrote to her friend that they had broke it and were having it mending. In a shop they bought it for thirty-six thousand francs with the help of loans.
In a shop they bought it for 36k francs with the help of loans. To pay off the loans, Loisel worked day long and Mathilde did housework and did the shopping. Years passed until they finally paid them off.
Mathilde happens to cross paths with her friend and greets her. She brings up how she's been working hard for 10 years, only to be told that the necklace was paste at a worth of 500 francs.