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This page says you need master craftsman for this and had me worried thankfully it's wrong and only requires an amateur. Ps. Thanks to whomever pointed out it's in crafting components not upgrades.
I've tried the smith in Arinbjorn several times now after letting him restock his wares, but he didn't have either the diagram or lesser (empty) runestones on stock.
the diagram can be bought at the alchemist pellar in Vellen , north west of blackbough.
I bought it from a blacksmith in hierarch square in novigard but it didn't appear in my crafting options
Killed Kiera, The dude in skellege does nto have it. And the pellar does not have it. So I guess I can't craft Runestones. This is frustrating.
I have also tried the armorer in Arinbjorn and he doesnt have the diagram for me either :-(
deitto wtf?
Also if you're trying to craft it but don't see it, check your menu filters and/or craftsman requirements.
The diagram for lesser runestone, once you've purchased it, is not in the "upgrades" sub-menu. It's in the "Crafting Component" sub-menu.
Also if you're trying to craft it but don't see it, check your menu filters and/or craftsman requirements.
For anyone still unable to find this- it looks like several vendors can potentially hold the diagram. Consider completing their quest lines (if they have any) to improve the quality of their stock and/or waiting until their stock replenishes. I've tried meditating for 5 days but still none of the following vendors have it.
Possible vendors:
Blacksmith: Arinbjorn
Peller: near Blackbough (alchemy supplies)
Keira Metz: location varies (alchemy supplies)
Hattori: south Novigrad city (blacksmith)

Either I'm unlucky and I'll just have to wait/ keep looking, or my game is bugged. I'm guessing, and hoping, it's the former.
Keep in mind that can Lesser Runestones can be bought from these (and probably other) vendors, so you can still craft runes!