The crystal structure of synthetic Ni-rich tourmaline with a nickel content of 18.96 wt.% NiO (a = 15.890(2), c = 7.1815(8) Å) has been refined to R = 3.1% using single-crystal X-ray diffraction data. It has been shown that Ni is distributed not only over the Y, but also over the Z sites according to the ideal formula Na(Ni2
2+Al)(Al5Ni2+)(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)4. Based on bond valences and charge balance analysis it has been shown that this composition corresponds to the stable disordered member of the solid solution series NaAl3Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(O)3(OH) NaNi3
Taking into consideration available structural data on Me
2+ (Ni, Cu, Co, Fe, Mn)-rich tourmalines, cation-size mismatch and bond-valence calculations we assume that there are no structural constraints precluding occurrence of these cations in both octahedral sites. Divalent transitional metal-rich tourmalines have not been found in Nature probably due to the insufficient concentration of these elements in B-rich geological systems.