NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Once an investment darling, gold has run into troubling headwinds during the opening quarter of 2012 as improving economic conditions have driven investors out of safe-haven asset classes. The Federal Reserve and its chairman, Ben Bernanke, have done little to instill confidence either; hints have been dropped, but with no solid word on additional rounds of quantitative easing, the yellow metal has struggled to regain any solid footing.As gold has foundered, other members of the precious metal spectrum have managed to gather steam. Platinum, in particular, has become a high riser. The ETFS Physical Platinum Shares ( PPLT) has gained nearly 20% since the start of the year. Comparatively, the iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) has seen only 7.5% returns.