Official Blizzard Quote:
Diablo: Artists are pushing to create lots of Unique weapons. Nothing we'll show off just yet
So it's confirmed! Unique items will, in the tradition of both Diablo games, have their own unique animations to go along with them.
In the case of Diablo I and II, nearly every unique weapon had its own alternative icon, such as the Jade Tan Do, or the Soul Harvest. Some unique items didn't have their own icons of course, but for the most part, they were grand, powerful looking weapons far beyond the plain items they were based on.
However, this unique-appearance did not extend beyond the inventory, it still looked like the rest of the items when actually equipped on your character. The system now, however, seems to use the same models in-inventory, and on-character. Basically, this means that how it appears in your inventory, is how it will appear on your character.
No longer will your Bonesnap look like the rest of the run of the mill mauls, it will look unique on your character!
(This article was written by Zhar and posted in his stead.)