STUNNING and spiritual, Australia's largest diamond was today
unveiled in Darwin.
$1 million, 104.73 carat white diamond has been given an indigenous
name - in an Australian first - to preserve its link with its place
uncut 104.73 carat gem / AAP
It has been called Jungiila Bunajina, which means star meteorite
dreaming stone, by the Garrawa and Gurdanji clans.
The diamond was mined on sacred Aboriginal land in the Northern
Territory in March 2002, at the trial Merlin diamond mine about 80km
south of Borroloola.
The mine, which is now destined for closure, was the first to
begin with the agreement of traditional owners under the Native
Traditional owner Max Finlay said the stone was of great
spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people, and had brought
peace to the two tribes.
"The name Bunajina is a very strong name, it's a name that ties
in ceremony between Gurdanji people and Garrawa people," Mr Finlay
"It's a very sacred area and no-one can go in there and muck with
"The name itself was given because we feel that if we are sharing
something with the world, this is the better way, to try and express
our heart to the world.
"Our spirit will always be with that diamond, it's part of us and
for as long as we practise our culture ... it will always be alive.
"... The name itself carries the two people."
Mine owner Argyle Diamonds will eventually send the diamond to
the international diamond hub of Antwerp Belgium for evaluation and
"We don't really know what's going to happen with the diamond,"
Mr Finlay said.
"If it's broken up into thousands of bits of diamond, it will
still have that name, the spiritual name of it will still exist."
Argyle Diamonds managing director Brendan Hammond said the
company had sought an Aboriginal name for the diamond, reflecting
its positive relations with the traditional owners.
"The way that we look at traditional owners is that they are our
land owners, they are our landlords and respect and recognition is
absolutely paramount in terms of our relationship with them," he
*The rough diamond is on display in its only Australian showing,
at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, until Sunday August 31.