drachmas The drachma was a common coin of Caesar's time. Probably most of Shakespeare's educated audience would know that, but how much would they think it was worth? As it happens, both the drachma and the penny (also silver) of Shakespeare's England were what Americans call "minimum wage," for a day, not an hour. So if Shakespeare's audience heard "drachmas" and thought "pennies," they were thinking of more than two month's wages. Even if Shakespeare's audience translated drachmas into their smallest coin—a farthing, one-quarter of a penny—that would still be a pretty good gift.