- Breccia is a type of clastic sedimentary rock, similar to conglomerate, composed of large, mixed, angular fragments of mineral debris and smaller rocks embedded in a matrix. Many varieties exist, depending on the material it is formed with: limestone breccia, sandstone breccia, and granite breccia are such examples. Each has a different color, pattern and composition, though all breccias have a jagged, broken appearance. It is this distinctive quality that makes breccia a popular stone for architectural, artistic and ornamental purposes.
- A well-known example of breccia in classic architecture is in the Roman Pantheon. According to Rome Art Lover, colored marbles were particularly fashionable during the second century A.D. A type of breccia from Phrygia (in modern Turkey) was used to construct the two giant columns where people worshiped the statues of the gods. The breccia's colorful pattern earned it the name "pavonazzetto," from the Italian word for peacock.
Another example of breccia column bases is on the Minoan palace of Knossos in Crete, built sometime around 1850 B.C.
- Breccia such as breccia aurora, breccia nouvelle, breccia oniciata, breccia pernice and breccia damascata are commonly cut and polished to make marble and limestone. These marbles are common in tiles, interior building veneers, window sills, walls and columns.
- Ancient Egyptians often made statues of Taweret---goddess of motherhood and childbirth---out of breccia for placement within the home. According to the British Museum (where one such statue is displayed), these small statues "were amulets and guaranteed the protection of the goddess against malign forces that might threaten the household, especially its children."
- In some cases, jewelers use polished breccia as gemstones. The term "brecciated" refers to the type of broken pattern certain stones possess. Mosaic agate, jasper breccia, boakite, ruin agate, dallasite and ocean-picture rock are just a few examples of varieties of breccia that craftsmen make into beads, brooches, belt buckles, paperweights, bookends and other ornamental pieces.