During the first part of this period the production of the metals had entirely ceased, and the amount in existence gradually wasted away, the value meanwhile depending almost entirely on the relation between demand and supply.
With the invasion of Spain by the Moors began a renewal of silver mining which soon extended to Germany and Austria. Still, the amount of money was insufficient and this lack tended to demoralize industry during the Middle Ages.
The Crusades brought about a great improvement for they were the means of bringing to Europe the immense amounts of gold hoarded in the East. The good results of the renewed coining of gold were marred, however, by the fact that much debased money was issued by different governments.
The discovery of America and the importation of gold and silver in great quantities, made it once more possible to carry on trade to advantage.