Gold prices rocked the boat for investors over the course of 2012, hitting a 52-week high of about $1,800 and a low of around $1,520. The yellow metal kicked off the year with a steady climb before touching down, hitting some low points in the summer months. But, true to form, investors returned to gold buying in the fall, bringing the metal back to a September high of $1,798 per ounce. As the year draws to a close, worries about how the US is going to avoid the fiscal cliff — a series of tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in January 1 — are stopping gold from staying above the $1,750 price mark. But despite the roller-coaster ride the yellow metal has sent investors on, it hasn't been all bad. Here is a look at 2012′s top-performing gold juniors. 1. Gold Quest Mining (TSXV:GQC); current price: $0.62; year-to-date gain: 726.67 percent; 52-week high: $2.03. Gold Quest is a copper-gold exploration company focused on the Dominican Republic. The company's share price started climbing at the end of May, when it announced drill results from the Romero gold-copper mineralization LTP 90, which returned 231 meters grading 2.4 g/t gold, including 160.3 meters grading 2.9 g/t. The results prompted GQC to mobilize a portable drill to further explore the mineralization. Share prices for GQC kept climbing throughout the summer months as exploration work progressed through July. In August, the company announced that it had intercepted significant mineralization, including 258 meters grading 4.5 g/t and an upper section of 55 meters grading 1.25 g/t gold. The company also closed a $15-million bought-deal private placement. Gold Quest has maintained a "strong buy" rating for the last several months.