ASX gold shares certainly shone brightly in February.
In fact, you've got to go back to April 2020 to see ASX gold shares deliver stronger monthly gains.
And that, as you'll recall, was the month when most all stocks came roaring back following the previous month's pandemic-fuelled panic selling.
How well did ASX gold shares perform in February?
The best answer to that question lies in the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold Index (ASX: XGD).
From the closing bell on 31 January through to the closing bell on 28 February, the ASX gold index gained a whopping 18.2%.
To put that into some context, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) was only up 0.8% in that same period.
What drove the outperformance?
Investors began snapping up ASX gold shares over the course of the month as the price of the bullion they explore for and mine from the earth surged.
The yellow metal kicked off February trading at US$1,801 (AU$2,467) per troy ounce. Gold finished the month at US$1,914 per ounce, up 6.3%, according to data from Bloomberg.
Gold prices had already been trending upwards for most of 2022, as inflation fears began to tick up around the globe. Gold is classically seen as a hedge in times of fast rising costs.
But February saw gold prices really lift as Russian forces began to mass around Ukraine. When Russia invaded its neighbour towards the end of the month, investors seeking haven assets sent the price of gold higher.
Some leading ASX gold shares
Here's how some leading Aussie gold producers performed in February.
Fellow ASX 200 gold miner, Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN), also boomed. The Evolution share price gained 22% for the month.
Sticking with the big players, the Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) share price rocketed an impressive 24.4% in February.
And topping the best returns for ASX gold shares in February is Alkane Resources Limited (ASX: ALK). The gold miner saw its share price leap 26.8% last month.