Charleston, South Carolina, sometime after the Civil War. A poor woman borrows a diamond necklace from a wealthy friend to wear at a party. She hopes that this outing will change the circumstances of her life and fortune, and that the other guests will see that she and her husband really belong within the ranks of the upper classes. But things go awry, and she loses the necklace. Pride will not allow her to tell her friend of the loss. Instead, she has another necklace made to match the one that was lost, and she and her husband spend the next 12 years paying for the replacement. Only after it is paid off do they learn that the necklace, which so controlled their destinies, was not what they believed it to be. Based on the famous short story by Guy de Maupassant, this one-act play shows the values society places on wealth and status, and the lengths to which some people will go to gain what they think will make them happy.