I don't think it's the jewelry aspect. I think it's the adventure, the getting into trouble and getting out again.
And, I think it would be interesting to make race and gender swaps in other well known stories. In stories specifically about race and gender, I don't know how well it would translate as storytelling. That would be more of an exercise in gender/race studies, and definitely in the too clever by half territory.
A Wrinkle in Time with a male protagonist would still be a good story, Henrietta and the Giant Purple Crayon or Jayme and the Giant Peach would be basically the same picture books, but Are You There God it's Me, Matt would be ridiculous (because of the menstruation).
So, that's just to say that I don't think all stories would benefit from this treatment. The Bilbo example works because the action doesn't have anything to do with gender.