Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, Florida, announced Monday the gold was recovered during a reconnaissance dive on the wreck of the S.S. Central America last month.
An expedition is expected to be on site until late summer recovering the rest of the gold from the ship that yielded about $50 million a quarter century ago before legal entanglements shut down the recovery.
Investors in Ohio said they provided money for the initial expedition but never received any return. An Ohio judge cleared the way for the new expedition in March.
The Central America sank in an 1857 hurricane about 160 miles off South Carolina.